Praxair (NYSE:PX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $176.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 10.02% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is poised to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio, a large client base and organic and inorganic growth strategies in the long term. For 2017 (results not yet released), the company anticipates earnings to be within $5.78-$5.83 per share, reflecting 12 cents increase at mid-point compared with the previous guidance of $5.63-$5.75. Also, the company's merger with Linde will create a leading industrial gas company with a strong international presence, a large customer base and solid financial flexibility. Earnings estimates on the stock increased for 2018 in the last 60 days.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on PX. Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $131.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. UBS Group raised shares of Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $162.00 price target on shares of Praxair in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of Praxair from $145.00 to $172.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Praxair from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Praxair currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $159.43.

Praxair (PX) traded up $2.47 on Friday, hitting $159.97. 1,896,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,464,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $46,070.00, a P/E ratio of 28.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 0.91. Praxair has a 52-week low of $115.00 and a 52-week high of $161.34.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.92 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.84 billion. Praxair had a net margin of 14.56% and a return on equity of 27.13%. The company’s revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.41 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Praxair will post 5.81 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total value of $768,053.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,697 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,957,890.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Praxair by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,803,262 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,757,471,000 after acquiring an additional 523,022 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in Praxair by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,332,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,297,403,000 after buying an additional 716,835 shares during the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its holdings in Praxair by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,868,280 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $683,156,000 after buying an additional 77,300 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its holdings in Praxair by 24.0% during the 3rd quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 3,384,973 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $473,016,000 after buying an additional 655,456 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors raised its holdings in Praxair by 9.6% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 2,981,701 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $416,663,000 after buying an additional 262,050 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.48% of the company’s stock.

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Praxair Company Profile

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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