Jefferies Group Weighs in on Praxair, Inc.’s FY2018 Earnings (NYSE:PX)

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) – Jefferies Group raised their FY2018 earnings estimates for Praxair in a research note issued on Tuesday, Zacks Investment Research reports. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander now anticipates that the basic materials company will post earnings per share of $6.75 for the year, up from their prior forecast of $6.35. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $186.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Praxair’s FY2019 earnings at $7.25 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $7.90 EPS.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 26.54%. Praxair’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.41 EPS.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on shares of Praxair to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of Praxair from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday. Citigroup reissued a “buy” rating and set a $188.00 price objective on shares of Praxair in a research note on Friday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $178.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Raymond James Financial reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Praxair in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $163.36.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) traded up $2.34 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $165.69. 1,869,982 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,930,000. The stock has a market cap of $47,440.00, a PE ratio of 38.35, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.91. Praxair has a 12-month low of $115.53 and a 12-month high of $166.95.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be given a dividend of $0.825 per share. This represents a $3.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.99%. This is a boost from Praxair’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.79. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 6th. Praxair’s dividend payout ratio is 72.92%.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 directly owns 16,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,957,890.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC lifted its holdings in Praxair by 149.8% in the 3rd 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. acquired a new position in Praxair in the 2nd quarter worth $106,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Praxair in the 4th quarter worth $128,000. Pacific Center for Financial Services lifted its holdings in Praxair by 65.7% in the 2nd quarter. Pacific Center for Financial Services now owns 898 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 356 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Praxair by 7.0% in the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 916 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. 85.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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