Praxair Reports Third-Quarter 2015 Results

Praxair Reports Third-Quarter 2015 Results

October 29, 2015

  • Sales of $2.7 billion, adjusted EPS of $1.46
  • Adjusted EBITDA and operating margins grew to 33.7% and 23.1%, respectively
  • Strong operating cash flow of $0.7 billion; $0.4 billion returned to shareholders through dividends and net share repurchases
  • After-tax return on capital 12.5%; return on equity 32.5%
  • Adjusted EPS guidance: 2015 full year $5.78 to $5.85 and 4Q15 $1.45 to $1.52

DANBURY, Conn., October 29, 2015 -- Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) reported third-quarter net income and diluted earnings per share of $401 million and $1.40, respectively. These results include the impact of a $26 million pre-tax charge ($18 million after-tax) or 6 cents of diluted earnings per share, related to cost reduction actions and a pension settlement charge. Excluding the charge, adjusted net income and diluted earnings per share were $419 million and $1.46, respectively.

Praxair’s results in the third quarter were challenged by negative impacts from foreign currency translation, as the U.S. dollar strengthened against most foreign currencies versus the prior year. Sales in the third quarter were $2,686 million, 15% below the prior-year quarter, primarily due to the impacts of negative currency translation and lower cost pass-through which reduced sales by 11% and 2%, respectively. Organic sales were lower than the prior-year quarter as growth from positive price and new project start-ups were offset by weaker underlying industrial activity in Brazil and China and in the metals, energy and manufacturing end-markets in North America.

Reported operating profit in the third quarter was $594 million. Adjusted operating profit of $620 million was 2% below the prior-year quarter, excluding currency effects. Adjusted operating profit as a percentage of sales grew to a record 23.1% and the adjusted EBITDA margin grew to a record 33.7% primarily due to higher pricing, strong cost control and productivity gains.

Third-quarter cash flow from operations of $676 million funded $405 million of capital expenditures. The company paid $203 million of dividends and repurchased $222 million of stock, net of issuances. After-tax return on capital and return on equity for the quarter were 12.5% and 32.5%, respectively.

Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel said, “As anticipated, third-quarter macroeconomic trends remained weak in North and South America. New project start-ups in Asia and Europe as well as solid demand in the less-cyclical end-markets of food, beverage and healthcare contributed positively to volumes.

“Our employees excel at protecting and growing profitability regardless of the economic cycle. The incremental cost actions we have taken during the second and third quarters as well as ongoing operational excellence resulted in a record operating margin. Cash flow generation remained strong with operating cash flow at 25% of sales and we again returned more than $400 million to shareholders.

“While we are expecting macro-economic conditions will remain challenging, we will continue to drive long-term growth through our strategy of building geographic density through high-return capital projects, synergistic acquisitions and continued growth in more defensive end-markets.”

For the fourth quarter of 2015, Praxair expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.45 to $1.52. This EPS guidance assumes a negative currency translation impact of approximately 11% year over year.

For full-year 2015, Praxair expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.78 to $5.85, up 3% to 4% ex-currency from 2014. This EPS guidance assumes a negative currency translation impact of approximately 11% versus 2014. Full-year capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $1.6 billion and the effective tax rate is forecasted to remain at approximately 28%.

Following is additional detail on third-quarter 2015 results by segment.

In North America, third-quarter sales were $1,463 million, 3% below the prior-year quarter excluding cost-pass through and negative currency translation. Volume growth to food and beverage and healthcare customers was more than offset by lower volumes to metals, energy and manufacturing end-markets. Operating profit of $385 million was 2% lower than the prior-year quarter, excluding currency translation, as price, productivity and cost actions were more than offset by lower volumes.

In Europe, third-quarter sales were $338 million, 12% below the prior-year quarter. Organic sales were 3% above the prior year primarily driven by new project contribution. Operating profit of $63 million grew 4% from the prior year, excluding currency translation, due to solid operating leverage on volume growth.

In South America, third-quarter sales were $343 million, 34% below the prior-year quarter. Sales, excluding negative currency translation, were steady as higher price and acquisitions were offset by lower volumes. Operating profit was $70 million.

Sales in Asia were $395 million in the quarter, 7% below the prior-year quarter. Excluding negative currency translation, cost pass-through and the sale of equipment to a joint venture in the prior-year quarter, sales grew 7%. Organic growth included new project start-ups in China, Korea and India for chemical, electronics and metals customers. Operating profit of $77 million was 9% above the prior year quarter, excluding currency translation.

Praxair Surface Technologies had third-quarter sales of $147 million as compared to $171 million in the prior-year quarter. Excluding negative currency translation impact, organic sales were 7% lower than the prior-year period. Favorable price was more than offset by weaker sales to the energy end-market. Operating profit was $25 million.

Adjusted amounts are non-GAAP measures. Third-quarter and full-year 2015 results are adjusted to exclude the impacts of cost reduction charges and the third quarter is also adjusted to eliminate a pension settlement charge. Additionally, measures such as EBITDA, free cash flow, after-tax return on capital, return on equity and debt-to-capital are also non-GAAP measures. See the attachments for a summary of non-GAAP reconciliations and calculations of non-GAAP measures. 

Attachments: Summary Non-GAAP Reconciliations, Statements of Income, Balance Sheets, Statements of Cash Flows, Segment Information, Quarterly Financial Summary and Appendix: Non-GAAP Measures.

 Praxair 3Q15 Earnings Release - Tables (137KB)

 Summary Non-GAAP Reconciliations, Statements of Income, Balance Sheets, Statements of Cash Flows, Segment Information, Quarterly Financial Summary and Appendix: Non-GAAP Measures.

 Praxair 3Q15 Teleconference Slides (1.2MB)

 Teleconference presentation on Praxair's 3Q15 results

A teleconference about Praxair’s third-quarter results is being held this morning, October 29, at 11:00 am Eastern Daylight Time. The number is (631) 485-4849 – Conference ID: 46550993. The call is also available as a webcast live and on-demand at www.praxair.com/investors. Materials to be used in the teleconference are also available on the website.

This document contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date the statements are made but involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation: the performance of stock markets generally; developments in worldwide and national economies and other international events and circumstances; changes in foreign currencies and in interest rates; the cost and availability of electric power, natural gas and other raw materials; the ability to achieve price increases to offset cost increases; catastrophic events including natural disasters, epidemics and acts of war and terrorism; the ability to attract, hire, and retain qualified personnel; the impact of changes in financial accounting standards; the impact of changes in pension plan liabilities; the impact of tax, environmental, healthcare and other legislation and government regulation in jurisdictions in which the company operates; the cost and outcomes of investigations, litigation and regulatory proceedings; continued timely development and market acceptance of new products and applications; the impact of competitive products and pricing; future financial and operating performance of major customers and industries served; the impact of information technology system failures, network disruptions and breaches in data security; and the effectiveness and speed of integrating new acquisitions into the business. These risks and uncertainties may cause actual future results or circumstances to differ materially from the projections or estimates contained in the forward-looking statements. Additionally, financial projections or estimates exclude the impact of special items which the company believes are not indicative of ongoing business performance. The company assumes no obligation to update or provide revisions to any forward-looking statement in response to changing circumstances. The above listed risks and uncertainties are further described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) in the company’s Form 10-K and 10-Q reports filed with the SEC which should be reviewed carefully. Please consider the company’s forward-looking statements in light of those risks.


About Praxair

Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2014 sales of $12.3 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others. More information about Praxair, Inc. is available at www.praxair.com.

Contact
Media Contact:
Jason Stewart

Email: jason_stewart@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2448

Investor Relations Contact:
Kelcey Hoyt

Email: kelcey_hoyt@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2118