Praxair Inc. (NYSE:PX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “We believe that benefit arising from Praxair's solid product portfolio, end-markets diversification and growth strategies are more than offset by exposure to near-term headwinds. For 2016, the company revised its earnings guidance to $5.45-$5.60 per share range versus $5.35-$5.70 expected earlier, keeping its mid-point constant. The company predicts adverse foreign currency movements to negatively impact earnings by 3%. Moreover, the company's exposure to risks arising from higher production costs, stiff competition, and high debt levels might adversely impact its financials in the near term. Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate on the stock has decreased for 2017, but remained stable for 2016.”
Several other brokerages have also weighed in on PX. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Praxair in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on shares of Praxair from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Praxair in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on shares of Praxair from $120.00 to $123.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Praxair from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $118.57.
Shares of Praxair (NYSE:PX) traded up 0.45% on Monday, reaching $121.37. 698,045 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $119.93 and a 200 day moving average price of $115.60. Praxair has a 52 week low of $95.60 and a 52 week high of $125.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.10 and a beta of 0.93.
Praxair (NYSE:PX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.03. The company earned $2.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.60 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 15.09% and a return on equity of 31.66%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.45 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Praxair will post $5.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 8th were given a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 6th. Praxair’s payout ratio is presently 54.55%.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Praxair by 5.8% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 88,954 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,997,000 after buying an additional 4,840 shares during the last quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Praxair by 1.1% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 4,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $539,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth approximately $1,295,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth approximately $2,726,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth approximately $4,318,000. 83.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Praxair Company Profile
Praxair, Inc is an industrial gas supplier in North and South America, Asia and Europe. 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, the Company operates its surface technologies business through its subsidiary, Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc, which represents the fifth segment.
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