Praxair Expands in Indiana with New ASU, Boosts Services

Buy or sell dice

Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc.PX recently announced that it started operating a new air separation unit (ASU) at its Burns Harbor, IN, pipeline system.

As revealed, the plant is part of Praxair's efforts to improve its services in northwest Indiana. It will supply nitrogen and oxygen to the company's local refining and steel customers. The new plant has a daily production capacity of 2,400 tons of industrial gases. We believe the move further solidifies the company's business operations in the region.

Over the last three months, shares of Praxair yielded a return of 1.69%, as against the loss of 0.60% recorded by the Zacks categorized Basic Materials sector. We believe expansionary initiatives will help Praxair meet the growing preference of customers for its world-class products and services. Also, increasing application of industrial gases in manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, food & beverages, and metal fabrication industries will prove to be a boon for industrial gas producers.

Despite the long-term positives, we believe that Praxair's exposure to certain near-term headwinds, including unfavorable foreign currency movements, higher production costs, stiff competition, and high debt levels have restricted its growth momentum. Over the last three months, shares of Praxair underperformed the gain of 3.57% seen by the Zacks categorized Chemicals Diversified industry.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

With a market capitalization of $33.7 billion, Praxair currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock is $1.33 for first-quarter 2017, representing 3.65% year-over-year growth. The company is slated to release first-quarter results on Apr 27, before the market opens.

Praxair, Inc. Price and Consensus

Praxair, Inc. Price and Consensus | Praxair, Inc. Quote

Some better-ranked stocks in the chemical industry include The Chemours Company CC , Kronos Worldwide, Inc. KRO and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation MTLHY . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

The Chemours Company reported a positive average earnings surprise of 151.56% for the last four quarters. Also, earnings expectations for 2017 and 2018 improved over the past 60 days.

Kronos Worldwide, Inc.'s financial performance was impressive in the last four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 72.01%. Also, the stock's earnings estimates for 2017 were revised upward over the last 60 days.

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings witnessed positive revisions in earnings estimates for fiscal 2018, over the past 60 days.

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Praxair, Inc. (PX): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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