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Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc’s (PX - Analyst Report) Indian subsidiary, Praxair India Private Limited strengthened its relations with JSW Steel by signing two long-term contracts with the latter.

The contract requires Praxair India to operate JSW Steel’s nitrogen plants located at the Kalameshwar and Tarapur cities of Maharashtra. Nitrogen produced will be primarily used for the production of cold rolled and galvanized steel.     

JSW Steel Limited is a part of the O.P. Jindal Group and is the largest private sector steel manufacturer in India, considering its installed capacity. Praxair’s association with JSW Steel is about 15 years old.

Praxair India, on the other hand, commenced its operations in 1996 and since then has grown to become one of the well known industrial gas suppliers in India. Key customers include companies like JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Saint-Gobain Glass, Haldia Petrochemicals, Hospet Steel and United Phosphorus Ltd.

The company is making constant efforts to expand its reach within the nation and tap the ever increasing demand for gases. Plans for the construction of a nitrogen plant for EPCOS India Private Ltd are underway.

We find long-term growth prospects quite bright for Praxair, as a series of plant start-ups and contract wins signify the growing preferences among customers for Praxair’s world class technology, high quality products and gas supply services.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for Praxair for years 2013 and 2014 are pegged at $5.95 and $6.70, reflecting annual growth of 6.8% and 12.7%, respectively.

Praxair has a market capitalization of roughly $35.4 billion and bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Braskem S.A. (BAK - Snapshot Report), Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN - Analyst Report) and Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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