Praxair (PX) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Praxair (NYSE:PX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday, January 5th. The firm currently has $176.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is poised to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio, a large client base and organic and inorganic growth strategies in the long term. For 2017 (results not yet released), the company anticipates earnings to be within $5.78-$5.83 per share, reflecting 12 cents increase at mid-point compared with the previous guidance of $5.63-$5.75. Also, the company's merger with Linde will create a leading industrial gas company with a strong international presence, a large customer base and solid financial flexibility. Earnings estimates on the stock increased for 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Susquehanna Bancshares raised their price target on shares of Praxair from $155.00 to $175.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Argus upgraded shares of Praxair from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $171.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Deutsche Bank raised shares of Praxair from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the company from $155.00 to $175.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. UBS Group increased their price objective on shares of Praxair to $176.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $186.00 price objective on shares of Praxair and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, December 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Praxair has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $159.86.

Praxair (NYSE PX) traded up $0.60 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $164.42. 107,955 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,852,425. The firm has a market capitalization of $46,900.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 0.91. Praxair has a 1 year low of $115.53 and a 1 year high of $166.08.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 14.56% and a return on equity of 27.13%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.41 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Praxair will post 5.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a dividend of $0.7875 per share. This represents a $3.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 6th. Praxair’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.05%.

In other Praxair news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of Praxair stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total transaction of $768,053.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,957,890.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of PX. CI Global Investments Inc. raised its stake in Praxair by 141.4% during the second quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 1,933,777 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $256,322,000 after purchasing an additional 1,132,606 shares during the period. Capital World Investors increased its position in shares of Praxair by 4.3% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,332,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,297,403,000 after acquiring an additional 716,835 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP increased its position in shares of Praxair by 24.0% during the third quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 3,384,973 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $473,016,000 after acquiring an additional 655,456 shares during the last quarter. PointState Capital LP acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter valued at about $76,481,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Praxair by 2.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,803,262 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,757,471,000 after acquiring an additional 523,022 shares during the last quarter. 85.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Praxair

Praxair, Inc is an industrial gas company. The Company’s operations are organized into five segments, four of which have been determined on a geographic basis of segmentation: North America, Europe, South America and Asia. In addition, it operates its surface technologies business through its subsidiary, Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc, which represents the fifth segment.

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