Equities research analysts expect Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) to post $2.82 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Six analysts have issued estimates for Praxair’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $2.85 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $2.79 billion. Praxair reported sales of $2.67 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 5.6%. The company is scheduled to report its next earnings results on Thursday, July 27th.

On average, analysts expect that Praxair will report full-year sales of $2.82 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $10.83 billion to $11.24 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $11.71 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $11.55 billion to $11.86 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that follow Praxair.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.62 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 14.24% and a return on equity of 28.75%. Praxair’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.28 EPS.

Several brokerages recently commented on PX. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Praxair from $125.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Praxair from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Praxair in a research report on Monday, February 13th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $107.00 price target for the company. Seaport Global Securities downgraded shares of Praxair from an “accumulate” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $125.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, January 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $123.91.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Praxair by 16.5% in the first quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 847 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank increased its stake in shares of Praxair by 31.2% in the first quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 842 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. First Command Bank bought a new stake in shares of Praxair during the fourth quarter worth $104,000. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in shares of Praxair by 6.8% in the first quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 1,015 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the period. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of Praxair by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,101 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.03% of the company’s stock.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) traded up 0.04% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $131.98. 831,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Praxair has a 52-week low of $106.31 and a 52-week high of $133.68. The company has a market capitalization of $37.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.81 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50-day moving average of $125.11 and a 200-day moving average of $120.00.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 7th will be paid a $0.7875 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 5th. This represents a $3.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.39%. Praxair’s payout ratio is presently 57.47%.

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About Praxair

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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