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Expansion is on the cards for Praxair Inc. (PX - Analyst Report). One of the finest industrial gas producers and suppliers, Praxair announced the commencement of operations at its first air separation plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The company’s Middle-East subsidiary, Praxair Bahrain will be operating the plant and as agreed upon, will supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon to United Steel Company (SULB) B.S.C. Daily production capacity of the plant is 350 tons of oxygen. Additionally, liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon will be produced to cater to the needs of local hospitals, metal fabricators, aluminium manufacturers, refiners, chemical plants and food freezers.           

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. Also, its products are being increasingly used for various purposes across diverse industries, including hydrogen for refining; oxygen for healthcare; and nitrogen and carbon dioxide for oil and gas production.

Praxair is slated to release its first quarter 2013 financial results on Apr 24. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter 2013 is $1.38, representing a year-over-year decline of 0.1%. Estimates for 2013 and 2014 are $6.00 and $6.82, reflecting annual growth of 7.8% and 13.6%, respectively.

Praxair has a market capitalization of roughly $33 billion. The stock currently bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Olin Corp. (OLN - Snapshot Report), Compass Minerals International Inc. (CMP - Snapshot Report) and Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN - Analyst Report), each holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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