Praxair, Inc. (PX) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. The firm currently has $165.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares 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. In third-quarter 2017, the company's earnings and sales beat their respective estimates by 4.2% and 1.8%. For 2017, Praxair raised its earnings guidance to $5.78-$5.83, 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.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Praxair from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $162.00 target price on shares of Praxair in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. restated a buy rating and issued a $162.00 target price on shares of Praxair in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Praxair from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc upgraded shares of Praxair from a neutral rating to a positive rating and upped their target price for the stock from $131.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Praxair currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $148.62.

Shares of Praxair (NYSE PX) traded down $0.19 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $148.27. 712,593 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,160,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The company has a market cap of $42,340.00, a P/E ratio of 26.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.99. Praxair has a twelve month low of $115.00 and a twelve month high of $150.25.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $2.92 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 14.56% and a return on equity of 27.13%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.41 EPS. analysts expect that Praxair will post 5.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 7th will be given a dividend of $0.7875 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $3.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.12%. Praxair’s payout ratio is 56.05%.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total transaction of $768,053.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 16,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,957,890.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in 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. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Praxair by 2,091.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,644,355 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,092,621,000 after buying an additional 16,839,374 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in shares of Praxair by 4.3% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,332,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,297,403,000 after buying an additional 716,835 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of Praxair by 0.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,820,497 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,639,105,000 after buying an additional 74,856 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its holdings in shares of Praxair by 24.0% in the third quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 3,384,973 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $473,016,000 after buying an additional 655,456 shares during the last quarter. 85.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Praxair Company Profile

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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