Praxair (PX) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Praxair (NYSE:PX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Praxair is expected to gain from strong backlog, new order wins and recovery in the energy and industrial end markets. Notably, Praxair’s pending merger with Linde has received conditional EU antitrust approval, antitrust clearance in China and India. Praxair and Linde also agreed to sell additional assets to a consortium of Messer Group GmbH and CVC Capital Partners in order to obtain the U.S. antitrust approval.  The companies continue to work diligently to close the merger in second-half 2018. The stock has also outperformed its industry over the past year. However, its results will be hurt by weaker volumes and political uncertainties prevalent in Brazil and currency headwinds. Further, inflation and rising freight and logistics costs will hurt margins. Praxair’s stretched valuation is also a concern.”

PX has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Praxair from $164.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Praxair from $177.00 to $189.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. BNP Paribas began coverage on shares of Praxair in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Praxair from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Praxair in a research report on Monday, September 24th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $132.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $175.38.

Shares of NYSE:PX traded down $1.06 during trading on Monday, reaching $163.18. The stock had a trading volume of 20,806 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,555,654. Praxair has a one year low of $139.54 and a one year high of $169.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.89, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.96.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.72 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.70 by $0.02. Praxair had a net margin of 11.68% and a return on equity of 27.84%. The business had revenue of $3.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.05 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.46 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Praxair will post 6.77 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in Praxair by 556.7% during the 2nd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,676,942 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $265,208,000 after buying an additional 1,421,596 shares during the last quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Praxair during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $152,375,000. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Praxair by 45.6% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,198,692 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $347,726,000 after purchasing an additional 688,418 shares during the period. Putnam Investments LLC grew its stake in shares of Praxair by 61.1% during the 2nd quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 1,506,298 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $238,221,000 after purchasing an additional 571,306 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Praxair by 109.3% during the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 831,216 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $119,944,000 after purchasing an additional 434,003 shares during the period. 86.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Praxair

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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