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Praxair 4Q Net Surges, Offers Weak Outlook; Unveils Buyback

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Praxair Inc.'s (PX) fourth-quarter earnings surged as the industrial-gas supplier saw a comparably weak quarter last year that was hampered by a large tax-related charge, while the company also unveiled a $1.5 billion buyback program. The company forecast downbeat 2012 earnings of $5.70 to $5.90 a share, on revenue of $11.7 billion to $12 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently expected earnings of $5.98 and revenue of $12.1 billion. For the first quarter, Praxair expects a profit of $1.33 to $1.38, compared with market predictions of $1.41. It said it anticipates negative currency impacts year-over-year of about 7 cents. Praxair, the largest industrial gas company in North America and South America, has maintained better earnings on recent strength in Asia and South America, though North America remains its biggest market, making up about half its sales. For the latest period, Praxair reported a profit of $420 million, or $1.38 a share, up from $133 million, or 43 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding a Spanish tax settlement-related charge of 80 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter and other special items, income rose to $1.36 from $1.25. In October, the company forecast earnings of $1.33 to $1.38 a share. Revenue rose 6.6% to $2.8 billion, just below expectations of $2.84 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 42.8% from 43.1%. Sales in North America rose 7% to $1.4 billion on strong sales growth to manufacturing, energy, chemicals and metals markets, and operating profit grew 17%. South America sales improved 8%, as Asia sales rose 6%. Sales in Europe were up 12% on the acquisition of increased ownership of Yara Praxair in Scandinavia. Shares closed Tuesday at $109.10 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 7.3% over the past three months. -By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; ben.rubin@dowjones.com

Stock News for Air Products (APD)
DateTimeHeadline
03/26/201503:20:53Top Large Cap Stocks That Investors Can Buy Now
03/23/201510:50:35Dividend Increases, March 8-20, 2015
03/19/201514:25:00Air Products Increases Quarterly Dividend for 33rd Consecutive...
03/17/201520:41:39Dividend Growth Checkup - Part II
03/16/201510:06:00Air Products to Feature Industrial Gas Supply Options and Advanced...
03/15/201513:15:53Dividend Champions: 15 Increases Expected By The End Of May
03/12/201509:00:00Air Products to Host Investor Conference on March 31
03/09/201510:00:00Air Products 'Cold Zone' to Feature Food Freezing and Cooling...
03/03/201500:13:49Dividend Update - February 2015
03/02/201512:15:00Air Products Announces North American Price Increase for Liquid...
03/02/201508:27:11Air Products And Chemicals: As Transformation Continues, An Insider...
02/27/201517:44:32After Hours Gainers / Losers
02/26/201505:02:31Expected Dividend Increases In March
02/24/201515:03:39Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/24/201515:00:00Air Products Presents Paper, Displays Hydrogen Fueling Technology...
02/19/201511:50:00Air Products and Suzuki Shokan Sign Agreement to Develop Hydrogen...
02/19/201508:44:37Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/12/201513:05:18Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/12/201513:04:28Securities Registration (section 12(b)) (8-a12b)
02/12/201513:00:00Air Products CEO to Speak at Barclays Industrial Select Conference

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