Praxair Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. Praxair produces and sells atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings to industrial clients.

Praxair, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.37 per share, a rise of 9.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.40. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.37 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $5.44 per share, a rise of 14.8% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by one cent, reporting profit of $1.40 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.39 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 8.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.84 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Praxair as eight analysts rate it as a buy, one rates it as a sell and nine rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 13.8% to $429 million ($1.40 a share) from $377 million ($1.21 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 14.1% to $2.9 billion from $2.54 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 14.6% in the second quarter and 26.8% in the first quarter.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 13.1% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 11.3% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG), and Rentech, Inc. (AMEX:RTK).

Stock Price Performance: During November 18, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the stock price had risen $14.15 (14.7%) from $96.52 to $110.67. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 22, 2011 and August 31, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 10.7% (+$9.46) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 8, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 5.1% (-$5.27) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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