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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
06/20/201609:48:00Air Products Awarded Contract with Vizient for Medical Gases
06/16/201607:45:00Why Investors Love These Major Diversified Chemicals' Stocks?...
06/13/201610:06:00Air Products Offers Free Webinar to Help Processors Conquer Particle...
06/03/201611:30:00Air Products' CEO and Materials Technologies VP to Speak at Deutsche...
06/02/201611:00:00Air Products Announces License Agreement for its Patented Hydrogen...
06/01/201611:04:33Securities Registration (section 12(b)) (8-a12b)
06/01/201610:59:15Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/01/201609:27:00Air Products Offers Free Webinar to Share Novel Ways Liquid Nitrogen...
05/31/201612:55:08Specialized Disclosure Report (sd)
05/31/201610:38:00Air Products to Introduce New Dew Point Monitoring System at...
05/25/201616:17:14Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/25/201614:34:43Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/25/201613:01:29Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5) (424b5)
05/24/201615:13:35Free Writing Prospectus - Filing Under Securities Act Rules 163/433...
05/24/201606:09:32Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5) (424b5)
05/23/201617:28:38Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/20/201609:17:36Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
05/19/201612:15:00Air Products Declares Quarterly Dividend
05/18/201614:15:00Air Products and NSPE Team Up to Commercialize Their First Hydrogen...
05/17/201610:00:00Air Products Launches Hydrogen Services Business to Support Customer-owned...

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