Air Products & Chemicals (APD) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning.
According to Zacks, “Air Products has a strong project backlog and benefits from actions to cut operational costs. Moreover, strategic investments in high-return projects, new business deals and acquisitions are expected to drive results in fiscal 2018. The company remains focused on growing its core industrial gases business. It will also benefit from the lower U.S. corporate tax rate in fiscal 2018. Air Products also remains committed to maximize returns to shareholders. Also, the company has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. However, Air Products faces headwind from charges associated with the new tax act. Maintenance outage costs are also affecting its margins. LNG sales also remain under pressure due to low project activity.”
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on APD. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Air Products & Chemicals to $185.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $195.00 price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals in a report on Monday, January 29th. Monness Crespi & Hardt lifted their price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals from $175.00 to $184.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Air Products & Chemicals from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $179.19.
Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) last posted its earnings results on Friday, January 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.66 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $2.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.12 billion. Air Products & Chemicals had a net margin of 33.51% and a return on equity of 14.80%. The company’s revenue was up 17.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.47 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Air Products & Chemicals will post 7.32 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 14th. Investors of record on Monday, April 2nd will be issued a $1.10 dividend. This is a positive change from Air Products & Chemicals’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.95. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 29th. This represents a $4.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.57%. Air Products & Chemicals’s payout ratio is presently 67.14%.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in APD. Findlay Park Partners LLP acquired a new position in Air Products & Chemicals in the third quarter valued at $362,928,000. First Eagle Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Air Products & Chemicals by 80.2% in the third quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 2,313,812 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $349,895,000 after buying an additional 1,029,451 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Air Products & Chemicals by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,544,664 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,878,729,000 after buying an additional 964,497 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Air Products & Chemicals by 239.8% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,071,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $161,977,000 after buying an additional 755,930 shares during the period. Finally, Luminus Management LLC lifted its holdings in Air Products & Chemicals by 67.4% in the fourth quarter. Luminus Management LLC now owns 1,077,723 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,832,000 after buying an additional 433,873 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.80% of the company’s stock.
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About Air Products & Chemicals
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc, is an industrial gases company. The Company’s Industrial Gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. The Company is also a supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.
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