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On Oct 8, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Manitex International, Inc. (MNTX - Snapshot Report), provider of engineered lifting solutions, to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Share price and earnings estimates for Manitex have been trending upward on the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results reported on Aug 7. Manitex delivered positive earnings surprises in three of its last four quarters with an average beat of 12.7%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 20%.

Manitex reported second-quarter 2013 earnings of 22 cents per share, up 10% year over year, and ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 20 cents. The growth was led by the execution of its strategy of marketing niche products.

In August, Manitex completed its previously announced acquisition of Sabre Manufacturing LLC, for $14 million. The acquisition will provide Manitex an opportunity to expand its offerings in the specialized equipment market and energy sector.

The Sabre acquisition will be a good fit for the company as it will provide further diversification of product line and end markets and lead to an above-average upside. The buyout also brings in various growth opportunities in the existing sales distribution network of Manitex.

The company expects to generate 50% of its sales from the energy area and the balance from general commercial markets. Manitex remains committed to introduce ground breaking products with the introduction of the Manitex TC 70 crane which will provide significant sales upside.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 3.6% to 86 cents per share over the last 90 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate rose by 6.2% to $1.20 per share in the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Colfax Corp. (CFX - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Dover Corp. (DOV - Analyst Report) and Ingersoll-Rand plc (IR - Analyst Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) are performing well in the same industry and are also worth considering.

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