Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders bought 1,260 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,112% compared to the average daily volume of 104 call options.

Several analysts recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $155.00 price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals in a report on Thursday, September 28th. SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on shares of Air Products & Chemicals to $185.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Air Products & Chemicals in a research report on Friday, August 4th. UBS raised shares of Air Products & Chemicals from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Finally, Vertical Research raised shares of Air Products & Chemicals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $146.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $164.80.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in APD. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Air Products & Chemicals by 8,260.1% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,720,195 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $389,152,000 after purchasing an additional 2,687,657 shares during the period. Findlay Park Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter valued at approximately $362,928,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Air Products & Chemicals by 8.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,281,219 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,186,132,000 after purchasing an additional 1,131,879 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of 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 during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in shares of Air Products & Chemicals by 57.2% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,125,659 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $304,097,000 after purchasing an additional 773,446 shares during the period. 87.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) opened at $161.64 on Friday. Air Products & Chemicals has a 52-week low of $133.63 and a 52-week high of $164.65. The firm has a market cap of $35,643.54, a P/E ratio of 25.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a current ratio of 2.36, a quick ratio of 2.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.68 by $0.08. Air Products & Chemicals had a net margin of 36.65% and a return on equity of 15.25%. The company had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.01 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Air Products & Chemicals will post 7 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be given a $0.95 dividend. This represents a $3.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 29th. Air Products & Chemicals’s dividend payout ratio is 27.82%.

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About Air Products & Chemicals

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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