Critical Analysis: Koppers Holdings (KOP) vs. Praxair (PX)

Koppers Holdings (NYSE: KOP) and Praxair (NYSE:PX) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation and dividends.


Praxair pays an annual dividend of $3.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Koppers Holdings does not pay a dividend. Praxair pays out 56.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Koppers Holdings has raised its dividend for 12 consecutive years and Praxair has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Risk and Volatility

Koppers Holdings has a beta of 1.02, indicating that its stock price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Praxair has a beta of 0.99, indicating that its stock price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Koppers Holdings and Praxair’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Koppers Holdings 3.02% 153.51% 6.24%
Praxair 14.56% 27.13% 8.34%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Koppers Holdings and Praxair, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Koppers Holdings 0 1 3 0 2.75
Praxair 2 7 6 0 2.27

Koppers Holdings presently has a consensus price target of $45.75, indicating a potential downside of 4.29%. Praxair has a consensus price target of $144.27, indicating a potential downside of 2.19%. Given Praxair’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Praxair is more favorable than Koppers Holdings.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Koppers Holdings and Praxair’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Koppers Holdings $1.42 billion 0.70 $29.30 million $1.98 24.14
Praxair $10.53 billion 4.01 $1.50 billion $5.62 26.25

Praxair has higher revenue and earnings than Koppers Holdings. Koppers Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Praxair, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.8% of Koppers Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.3% of Praxair shares are held by institutional investors. 3.9% of Koppers Holdings shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Praxair shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


Praxair beats Koppers Holdings on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Koppers Holdings Company Profile

Koppers Holdings Inc. is a global integrated provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds. The Company operates through three segments: Railroad and Utility Products and Services (RUPS), Carbon Materials and Chemicals (CMC) and Performance Chemicals (PC). The RUPS business sells treated and untreated wood products, rail joint bars and services primarily to the railroad markets. The primary products supplied by PC business are copper-based wood preservatives, including micronized copper quaternary and micronized copper azole (MicroPro), micronized pigments (MicroShades) and chromated copper arsenate. Through CMC business, the Company processes coal tar into a range of products, including carbon pitch, creosote and carbon black feedstock. Its products and services are used in a range of markets, including the railroad, specialty chemical, utility, residential lumber, agriculture, aluminum, steel, rubber and construction industries.

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. Its operations consist of two product lines: industrial gases and surface technologies. Its industrial gases product line centers on the manufacturing and distribution of atmospheric gases (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases) and process gases (carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases). It also designs, engineers and builds equipment that produces industrial gases primarily for internal use. Its Surface Technologies segment, operated through Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc., supplies wear-resistant and high-temperature corrosion-resistant metallic and ceramic coatings and powders.

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