), a leading industrial gas producer and supplier, is set to
benefit from the growing demand for industrial gases due to their
increased applications in various fields.
Nitrogen, among other industrial gases, witnesses high demand. The
gas is used primarily in industries including oil and gas,
aerospace and aircraft, automotive and transport equipment,
chemicals, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, metal production,
pharmaceutical and biotechnology, refining, welding and metal
Recently, Praxair decided to enhance its production capacity of
industrial gases by expanding the facilities in Kirtland, NM. The
initiative will include construction of a new nitrogen production
facility that will cater to the needs of the oil and gas industry
in southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico and certain areas
in Arizona and Utah.
In Jun 2014, Praxair started a new packaged gas-filling plant in
North Dakota, an oxygen supply plant in Uruguay and an air
separation plant in Tennessee. Besides starting new plants, the
company also believes in making strategic acquisitions and
meaningful dispositions in order to improve profitability. In this
regard, acquisitions in Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan, along with
the takeover of a mid-Atlantic joint venture, purchase of a gases
business in Italy and a divestiture in France are worth mentioning.
We believe Praxair's efforts to enhance its production capacity
will help it to capitalize on the growing preferences for its world
class technology, high quality products and gas supply services. In
the past five years, the company's earnings have grown by 8.5%
while we project an 11.7% increase in the next five years.
Currently, the Zacks Consensus estimate for Praxair is pegged at
$6.45 for 2014 and $7.20 for 2015, representing year-over-year
growth of 8.8% and 11.7% respectively. For second-quarter 2014, the
Zacks estimate is $1.59. The company is slated to release its
second-quarter results on Jul 23, before market opens.
With a $38.6 billion market capitalization, Praxair presently
carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the
LyondellBasell Industries NV
). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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