Praxair (PX) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Praxair (NYSE:PX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

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 $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. However, the company's exposure to risks arising from higher production costs, stiff competition, high debt levels, geopolitical issues and from unfavorable movements in foreign currencies might adversely impact its financials in the near term. Lingering impact of hurricanes will adversely impact fourth quarter earnings by 2 cents.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on PX. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $162.00 price target on shares of Praxair in a report on Thursday, October 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on Praxair from $145.00 to $172.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Barclays raised their price objective on Praxair from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Praxair from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Argus raised Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $171.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, November 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Praxair currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $159.86.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) traded down $1.54 on Thursday, hitting $161.92. The stock had a trading volume of 1,003,149 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,997,236. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. The firm has a market cap of $46,780.00, a PE ratio of 28.81, a P/E/G ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.00. Praxair has a 1-year low of $115.53 and a 1-year high of $166.08.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last posted its quarterly 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 business had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a return on equity of 27.13% and a net margin of 14.56%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.41 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Praxair will post 5.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total value of $768,053.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,957,890.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC increased its position in Praxair by 149.8% during the third quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 717 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 430 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. purchased a new position in Praxair during the second quarter worth $106,000. Accident Compensation Corp purchased a new position in Praxair during the third quarter worth $140,000. Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its position in Praxair by 43.7% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,086 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 330 shares in the last quarter. Finally, San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA increased its position in Praxair by 2,171.1% during the third quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,022 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 977 shares in the last quarter. 85.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Praxair (NYSE:PX)

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