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Praxair-Samsung Bond Grows Stronger


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Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc. (PX - Analyst Report) through its Korean Subsidiary, Praxair Korea, has moved a step forward in solidifying its nearly 20 year old relationship with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung).

Praxair announced the commencement of operations at its second state-of-the-art air separation plant located at Samsung’s semiconductor facility in Hwasung, Korea. As per the long-term contract signed between the two parties, Praxair will supply high-purity oxygen, nitrogen and argon to Samsung.

In addition, the expansion in the region will also usher in new business opportunities for Praxair. This includes supplying liquid gases including oxygen, nitrogen and argon to non-ferrous metal, wastewater treatment and shipbuilding industries, among others.

A series of plant start-ups and contract wins across various nations signify the growing preferences among customers for Praxair’s world class technology, high quality products and gas supply services. Prior to the Samsung contract, the company entered into a joint venture with OJSC KuibyshevAzot, in central Russia’s Samara region.

The collaboration will require the construction of an air separation plant with a production capacity of 1,400 per day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon. The plant is expected to start production in mid-2016.

Praxair has a market capitalization of roughly $34.3 billion. The company is slated to release its second-quarter 2013 financial results on Jul 24. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter of 2013 is $1.49, up 4.6% year over year. For full year 2013 and 2014, the estimate is pegged at $5.97 and $6.75, reflecting annual growth of 7.2% and 13.1%, respectively.

The stock currently bears a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT - Snapshot Report) and Northern Technologies International Corp. , both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Cabot Corporation (CBT - Snapshot Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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