Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Praxair (PX)

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock investors purchased 5,125 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,373% compared to the typical volume of 348 call options.

PX has been the subject of several recent research reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co boosted their target price on shares of Praxair from $145.00 to $172.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $131.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Argus upgraded shares of Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $171.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Finally, UBS upgraded shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $154.31.

Praxair (PX) opened at $150.96 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $43,827.62, a PE ratio of 26.67, a PEG ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. Praxair has a 12-month low of $115.00 and a 12-month high of $156.40.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 14.56% and a return on equity of 27.13%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.41 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Praxair will post 5.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 7th will be given a dividend of $0.7875 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $3.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.09%. Praxair’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.05%.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of Praxair stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total value of $768,053.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 16,697 shares in the company, valued at $1,957,890.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PX. 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 valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 430 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Praxair by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 768 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new stake in Praxair in the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Praxair by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 831 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $110,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 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 valued at $119,000 after acquiring an additional 356 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.43% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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