Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.
According to Zacks, “Air Products has a strong project backlog and benefits from actions to cut operational costs. Moreover, strategic investments in high-return projects, new business deals and acquisitions are expected to drive results in fiscal 2018. The company remains focused on growing its core industrial gases business. It will also benefit from the lower U.S. corporate tax rate in fiscal 2018. Air Products also remains committed to maximize returns to shareholders. Also, the company has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. However, Air Products faces headwind from charges associated with the new tax act. Maintenance outage costs are also affecting its margins. LNG sales also remain under pressure due to low project activity.”
APD has been the topic of several other reports. raised shares of Air Products & Chemicals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Monness Crespi & Hardt upped their price objective on shares of Air Products & Chemicals from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Air Products & Chemicals from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Argus increased their price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals to $192.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Jefferies Group raised shares of Air Products & Chemicals from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the stock from $166.00 to $185.00 in a report on Monday, December 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $178.33.
Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.66 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $2.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.12 billion. Air Products & Chemicals had a net margin of 33.51% and a return on equity of 14.80%. The company’s revenue was up 17.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.47 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Air Products & Chemicals will post 7.32 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 2nd will be issued a $1.10 dividend. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. This is an increase from Air Products & Chemicals’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.95. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 29th. Air Products & Chemicals’s dividend payout ratio is presently 29.25%.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Findlay Park Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter valued at approximately $362,928,000. First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 80.2% in the third quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 2,313,812 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $349,895,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029,451 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,544,664 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,878,729,000 after purchasing an additional 964,497 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 239.8% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,071,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $161,977,000 after purchasing an additional 755,930 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Luminus Management LLC raised its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 67.4% in the fourth quarter. Luminus Management LLC now owns 1,077,723 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,832,000 after purchasing an additional 433,873 shares in the last quarter. 87.43% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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Air Products & Chemicals Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc, is an industrial gases company. The Company’s Industrial Gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. The Company is also a supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.
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