Praxair (NYSE:PX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Praxair's shares have outperformed the industry. We believe that the company is poised to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio, a large client base and organic and inorganic growth strategies in the long term. For 2017 (results not yet released), the company anticipates earnings to be $5.78-$5.83 per share, reflecting 12 cents increase at mid-point compared with the previous guidance of $5.63-$5.75. Also, the company's merger with Linde will create a leading industrial gas company. However, the company's exposure to risks arising from higher production costs, stiff competition, high debt levels, geopolitical issues and from unfavorable movements in foreign currencies might adversely impact its financials in the near term. Lingering impact of hurricanes will adversely impact fourth quarter earnings by 2 cents.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on PX. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $162.00 price objective on shares of Praxair in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $162.00 price objective on shares of Praxair in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Barclays raised their price objective on Praxair from $140.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Praxair from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup raised Praxair from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $137.00 to $168.00 in a research note on Monday, October 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $159.86.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) traded up $0.38 on Thursday, hitting $161.88. The stock had a trading volume of 1,678,970 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,830,000. Praxair has a 52 week low of $115.53 and a 52 week high of $166.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The stock has a market cap of $46,350.00, a P/E ratio of 28.80, a PEG ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 1.00.

Praxair (NYSE:PX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.06. Praxair had a return on equity of 27.13% and a net margin of 14.56%. The business had revenue of $2.92 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.84 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Praxair will post 5.81 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.26, for a total value of $768,053.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 16,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,957,890.22. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PX. Capital World Investors raised its position in Praxair by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,332,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,297,403,000 after purchasing an additional 716,835 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its position in Praxair by 24.0% in the 3rd quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 3,384,973 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $473,016,000 after purchasing an additional 655,456 shares during the last quarter. PointState Capital LP bought a new position in Praxair in the 2nd quarter valued at $76,481,000. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Praxair by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,803,262 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,757,471,000 after purchasing an additional 523,022 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Steadfast Capital Management LP bought a new position in Praxair in the 2nd quarter valued at $58,005,000. 85.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Praxair Company Profile

Praxair, Inc is an industrial gas company. The Company’s operations are organized into five segments, four of which have been determined on a geographic basis of segmentation: North America, Europe, South America and Asia. In addition, it operates its surface technologies business through its subsidiary, Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc, which represents the fifth segment.

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