Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Praxair (NYSE:PX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares have outperformed the industry. The company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2018. It anticipates further improvements on the back of rise in global industrial production, strengthening end markets, sound product portfolio and new project wins in the quarters ahead. For the second quarter of 2018, the company anticipates earnings of $1.67-$1.72 per share, above $1.65 recorded in the first quarter and roughly 14-18% above the year-ago quarter. Notably, the second-quarter forecast includes 5 cents of gain from the recent tax reform in the United States. Also, the company is going to merge with Linde to form a leading industrial gas company. The merger is anticipated to be completed in the second half of 2018. However, higher debt levels and rising costs might prove detrimental to the company's profitability.”
A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on PX. Citigroup reduced their price target on shares of Praxair from $188.00 to $163.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Praxair from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Praxair from a c+ rating to an a- rating in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a buy rating and issued a $179.00 price target on shares of Praxair in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets started coverage on shares of Praxair in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They issued a market perform rating and a $159.00 price target on the stock. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $174.67.
Praxair (NYSE:PX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.65 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.93 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 11.27% and a return on equity of 26.91%. equities analysts forecast that Praxair will post 6.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 7th were given a $0.825 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 6th. This represents a $3.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. Praxair’s dividend payout ratio is presently 56.41%.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of PX. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its position in Praxair by 394.0% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 741 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 591 shares during the last quarter. Institutional & Family Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Praxair in the 1st quarter valued at about $137,000. M&R Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Praxair by 366.5% in the 4th quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. now owns 933 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 733 shares during the last quarter. Signaturefd LLC bought a new stake in Praxair in the 1st quarter valued at about $147,000. Finally, Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Praxair by 123.1% in the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,042 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $150,000 after purchasing an additional 575 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.99% of the company’s stock.
Praxair Company Profile
Praxair, Inc produces and distributes industrial gases. It operates through five segments: North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and Surface Technologies. The company offers atmospheric gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and rare gases; and process gases, such as carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.
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