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Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc. (PX - Analyst Report) announced to have initiated construction of a new nitrogen plant at its facility in Kirtland, New Mexico. The plant will be the second of its kind at this facility and together with a liquefier expansion will be completed before the end of year 2013.

Total capacity of liquid nitrogen, after the completion of this facility, at Praxair’s Kirtland facility will reach 300 tons per day. The company will use liquid and gaseous nitrogen to satisfy the growing needs of its customers, primarily the local oil and gas operators, in the San Juan basin including southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

We find the growth prospects of oil and gas exploration and production market very bright, especially in the backdrop of soaring demand for oil and gas. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), global oil consumption is expected to grow by another 1.1 million barrels per day in 2013 and by a further 1.2 million barrels per day in 2014.

Praxair’s world class technology, high quality products and gas supply services have enabled expansion in various fields. This includes supplying liquid gases including oxygen, nitrogen and argon to non-ferrous metal, wastewater treatment and shipbuilding industries, among others.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for Praxair for years 2013 and 2014 are pegged at $5.96 and $6.71, reflecting annual growth of 6.9% and 12.6%, respectively.

Praxair has a market capitalization of roughly $34.6 billion and bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Cytec Industries Inc. (CYT - Snapshot Report), Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN - Analyst Report) and Northern Technologies International Corp. , each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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