Praxair (NYSE:PX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $184.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.84% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Praxair is expected to gain from strong backlog, new order wins and recovery in the energy and industrial end markets. The company won three new onsite projects and started work on the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) project during second-quarter 2018. New onsite business opportunities especially in the U.S. Gulf Coast will also drive growth. Notably, Praxair’s pending merger with Linde has received conditional EU antitrust approval. 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. Praxair also remains focused on disciplined capital allocation. The stock has also outperformed its industry over the past year.”

PX has been the topic of several other research reports. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Praxair from $164.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Praxair from $177.00 to $189.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. ValuEngine cut shares of Praxair from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Praxair in a research note on Monday. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $132.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Praxair from $179.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Praxair has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $175.38.

Shares of PX opened at $163.06 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $47.16 billion, a PE ratio of 27.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 1.09. 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 has a 12-month low of $137.32 and a 12-month high of $168.54.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.70 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.05 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 11.68% and a return on equity of 27.84%. The business’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.46 EPS. research analysts forecast that Praxair will post 6.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Private Capital Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Praxair by 394.0% during the first quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 741 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 591 shares during the period. Kaizen Advisory LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Praxair by 140.9% during the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 677 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 396 shares during the period. Institutional & Family Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the first quarter worth approximately $137,000. Landaas & Co. WI ADV acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth approximately $147,000. Finally, Clarus Wealth Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Praxair during the second quarter worth approximately $152,000. 86.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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