Investors Purchase Large Volume of Praxair Call Options (PX)

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Friday. Traders bought 65,216 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,561% compared to the typical daily volume of 3,927 call options.

In related news, Director Raymond W. Leboeuf sold 6,550 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 16,697 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,957,890.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.23% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PX. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 19.1% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 768 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 149.8% during the 3rd quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 717 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 430 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Praxair during the 2nd quarter worth $106,000. Pacific Center for Financial Services boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 65.7% during the 2nd quarter. Pacific Center for Financial Services now owns 898 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $119,000 after acquiring an additional 356 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Praxair by 7.0% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 916 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. 85.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Praxair (NYSE:PX) opened at $154.68 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $44,285.65, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.52, a PEG ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 1.11. Praxair has a one year low of $115.00 and a one year high of $156.40.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a dividend of $0.7875 per share. This represents a $3.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 6th. Praxair’s dividend payout ratio is presently 56.05%.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank raised Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $155.00 to $175.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Praxair from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. UBS Group increased their price target on Praxair to $176.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Jefferies Group set a $186.00 price target on Praxair and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Praxair in a research note on Sunday, September 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $158.64.

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About Praxair

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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