Praxair (PX) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Praxair (NYSE:PX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The firm presently has a $182.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 10.87% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the company. Deutsche Bank raised Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $155.00 to $175.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. UBS Group increased their target price on Praxair to $176.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Jefferies Group set a $186.00 target price on Praxair and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on Praxair from $145.00 to $172.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Argus raised Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $171.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, November 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $159.86.

Praxair (NYSE PX) traded up $0.34 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $164.15. The company had a trading volume of 2,644,425 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,940,422. The stock has a market capitalization of $47,000.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.21, a PEG ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. Praxair has a 52-week low of $115.53 and a 52-week high of $166.08.

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

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

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PX. Beach Investment Management LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth about $5,491,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 47.3% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 10,057 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,333,000 after buying an additional 3,228 shares during the period. Pacad Investment Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth about $159,000. Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 5.3% during the second quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 4,390 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $585,000 after buying an additional 221 shares during the period. Finally, Symphony Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth about $925,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.51% of the company’s stock.

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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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