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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
03/24/201708:06:00Air Products & Chemicals Walks Away From Bid for Yingde Gases
03/24/201706:07:22Current Report Filing (8-k)
03/20/201710:02:00Air Products Named One of China's Best Employers in Chemical...
03/13/201721:57:00Updated Connection Information for Air Products Q&A Session at...
03/08/201710:00:00Air Products Introduces New Freshline® IQ Freezer at Seafood...
03/08/201708:29:00Yingde Gases Shareholders Vote to Remove Chairman
03/08/201703:03:00U.S. Firm Targets a Deal in China -- WSJ
03/07/201714:30:00Air Products' CEO to Speak at J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation...
03/07/201710:27:00How Air Products Is Getting a Rare Shot at a Takeover in China
03/07/201710:00:00Air Products to Share Best Practices in Safe and Reliable Hydrogen...
03/06/201715:15:00Air Products' California Fueling Stations Offering Hydrogen Below...
03/01/201714:20:00Air Products Wins Additional Marathon Petroleum Long-Term Hydrogen...
02/20/201710:00:00Air Products to Highlight New Mobile Nitrogen Pumpers at PPIM
02/15/201715:30:00Air Products' CEO to Speak at Barclays Industrial Select Conference
02/15/201713:30:00Air Products Announces Price Increase for North American Liquid...
02/14/201712:28:09Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/14/201709:27:00Air Products Sends Letter to Yingde Gases Board in Response to...
02/09/201706:05:32Amended Statement of Ownership (sc 13g/a)
02/06/201710:00:00Air Products Selected by Boeing to Supply Nitrogen for World's...
02/03/201712:43:50Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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