Zacks Investment Research Lowers Air Products & Chemicals (APD) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Air Products has a strong project backlog. Moreover, strategic investments in high-return projects, new business deals, cost cuts and acquisitions should drive results in fiscal 2019. The Lu'An syngas project is also expected to contribute to its earnings. Air Products also remains committed to maximize returns to shareholders. Moreover, the company has outperformed the industry it belongs to over the past year. However, the company faces headwind from higher maintenance outage costs. Its global gases sales also remain under pressure. Air Products is also seeing pressure in its LNG business.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on APD. ValuEngine upgraded Air Products & Chemicals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on Air Products & Chemicals in a research report on Monday, September 24th. They set an outperform rating and a $202.00 target price on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $200.00 target price on Air Products & Chemicals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Vertical Research upgraded Air Products & Chemicals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 29th. Finally, Citigroup decreased their target price on Air Products & Chemicals from $200.00 to $181.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Air Products & Chemicals presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $190.08.

Air Products & Chemicals stock opened at $155.41 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 2.17, a quick ratio of 2.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30. Air Products & Chemicals has a 1-year low of $148.44 and a 1-year high of $175.17. The company has a market capitalization of $34.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.10.

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The basic materials company reported $2.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.99 by $0.01. Air Products & Chemicals had a return on equity of 15.30% and a net margin of 16.77%. The firm had revenue of $2.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.31 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.76 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Air Products & Chemicals will post 8.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 11th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 2nd will be issued a $1.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 31st. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.83%. Air Products & Chemicals’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.06%.

In related news, Chairman Seifi Ghasemi purchased 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $160.11 per share, with a total value of $3,202,200.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chairman now directly owns 408,652 shares in the company, valued at approximately $65,429,271.72. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC acquired a new position in shares of Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter worth $74,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 542.6% in the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 739 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter valued at $116,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 8,770.0% in the third quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 887 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $148,000 after purchasing an additional 877 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TLP Group LLC increased its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 87.9% in the third quarter. TLP Group LLC now owns 1,041 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $174,000 after purchasing an additional 487 shares during the last quarter. 86.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Air Products & Chemicals Company Profile

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, electronics and performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. The company produces atmospheric gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and rare gases; process gases, such as hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, syngas, and specialty gases; and equipment for the production or processing of gases comprising air separation units and non-cryogenic generators for customers in various industries, including metals, glass, chemical processing, electronics, energy production and refining, food processing, metallurgical, medical, and general manufacturing.

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