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Manitex International, Inc. (MNTX - Snapshot Report) hit a new 52-week high of $17.85 during intraday trading before closing lower at $17.44 on March 12. The Bridgeview, Ill.-based leading provider of engineered lifting solutions has delivered a one-year return of about 64.5%, outperforming the S&P 500 return of 24.2%.

Over the past 52 weeks, Manitex’s share price has ranged from a 52-week low of $9.67 on Apr 29, 2013, to a 52-week high of $17.85 on March 12, 2014. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 103K.

What's Driving Manitex Upward?

Manitex’s shares have been on the rise following its strong fourth-quarter and record fiscal 2013 results that were declared on March 6. Earnings improved 37.5% to 22 cents per share from 16 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Moreover, the reported figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents. Manitex has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate three times in the trailing four quarters with an average surprise of 12.69%.

Fiscal 2013 was a record year for Manitex in terms of revenues and earnings per share. The company reported record earnings per share of 80 cents, up 18% from 68 cents in 2012. Revenues for the year 2013 increased 19% year over year to $245 million. The rise resulted from increased production, thanks to the high level of crane order backlog and the impact of Sabre and Valla acquisitions.

The company remains optimistic and hopes to report new record sales and profits in 2014. Furthermore, it expects to continue benefiting from expansion in backlog, new product development and acquisitions.

Manitex's acquisition of Valla, SpA in Nov 2013 will bring diversity to its crane portfolio and increase its product offering globally. The Sabre acquisition will also be a strategic fit for the company as it will enable further diversification of its product line and end markets, and lead to an above-average upside.

Additionally, Manitex remains committed to increase its innovative product offering, as evident from the introduction of Manitex TC 70 crane, which will likely drive sales.

Other Stocks to Consider

Manitex currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the sector include Kadant Inc. (KAI - Snapshot Report), Sun Hydraulics Corp. (SNHY - Snapshot Report) and Middleby Corp. (MIDD - Analyst Report). While Kadant and Sun Hydraulics sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Middleby carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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