Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Air Products & Chemicals (APD) to Sell

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Air Products faces headwind from unfavorable currency swings, which is weighing on its sales. Its global gases sales are under pressure. Moreover, modification of Indian hydrogen supply contract will affect the company's EMEA sales. Also, shutdowns associated with Chinese New Year is likely to affect volumes in fiscal second quarter.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group boosted their target price on Air Products & Chemicals from $200.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Air Products & Chemicals from $195.00 to $220.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, April 12th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Air Products & Chemicals from $200.00 to $215.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded Air Products & Chemicals from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $170.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $196.40.

Shares of APD stock traded up $0.81 on Wednesday, reaching $197.91. 368,028 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,018,617. The company has a market cap of $42.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.56, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.82. Air Products & Chemicals has a one year low of $148.44 and a one year high of $197.33. The company has a quick ratio of 2.03, a current ratio of 2.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30.

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) last released its earnings results on Friday, January 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.86 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.87 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.27 billion. Air Products & Chemicals had a return on equity of 15.13% and a net margin of 18.92%. The company’s revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.79 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Air Products & Chemicals will post 8.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. LPL Financial LLC grew its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 12.0% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 16,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,705,000 after acquiring an additional 1,738 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 38.8% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 456,940 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $76,332,000 after acquiring an additional 127,758 shares during the period. Resources Management Corp CT ADV acquired a new position in Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter valued at about $875,000. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 190.4% in the third quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 2,053 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $343,000 after acquiring an additional 1,346 shares during the period. Finally, Koshinski Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Air Products & Chemicals by 97.9% in the third quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,762 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $962,000 after acquiring an additional 2,850 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.52% of the company’s stock.

About Air Products & Chemicals

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, 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 refining, chemical, gasification, metals, electronics, manufacturing, food and beverage, magnetic resonance imaging, energy production and refining, and metals.

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