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

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, July 25th.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, shares of Praxair have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is well positioned to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio, a large client base and organic and inorganic growth strategies in the long term. For 2017, the company anticipates base volume growth to be in sync with the prevailing macro conditions. It increased the lower end of its previously projected guidance range by $0.10 to $5.55-$5.80 per share. Forex woes are predicted to adversely impact earnings by 1%. Also, the company is exposed to risks arising from stiff competition, and high debt levels. Over the last 60 days, the stock’s earnings estimates remained stable for both 2017 and 2018.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on PX. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Praxair from $125.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, May 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Praxair from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $162.00 price target on shares of Praxair in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “overweight” rating and set a $156.00 price target (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Praxair in a report on Sunday, June 11th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $140.00 to $150.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $135.00.

Shares of Praxair (NYSE PX) traded up 0.39% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $132.30. 935,072 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $132.38 and a 200-day moving average of $126.00. Praxair has a 52 week low of $114.43 and a 52 week high of $138.69. The company has a market cap of $37.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.78 and a beta of 0.93.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.43 by $0.03. Praxair had a net margin of 14.10% and a return on equity of 27.93%. The company had revenue of $2.83 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.80 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.39 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Praxair will post $5.47 EPS for the current year.

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Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake 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 valued at $2,092,621,000 after buying an additional 16,839,374 shares during the period. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in shares of Praxair by 48.5% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 6,401,228 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $737,895,000 after buying an additional 2,091,079 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Praxair by 287.7% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,560,700 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $185,099,000 after buying an additional 1,158,100 shares during the period. CI Global Investments Inc. raised its stake in shares of Praxair by 141.4% in the second quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 1,933,777 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $256,322,000 after buying an additional 1,132,606 shares during the period. Finally, Capital World Investors raised its stake 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 valued at $2,297,403,000 after buying an additional 716,835 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 84.86% of the company’s stock.

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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