"Including headwinds from F/X (4%-5%), interest expense (1%) and pension (1%), Praxair still expects to deliver 5%-8% EPS growth in 2012, compared to our forecast of a range of 5%-13%," Jefferies analysts wrote in a Jan. 31 report. "To reflect higher-than-expected F/X headwinds, we are lowering 2012E $0.10 to $5.85, up 8%. We still expect Praxair to move into the sweet spot of its cycle in 2013-2015, and we set 2013E at $6.70."Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2% Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year. Praxair has weak liqiuidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.74, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 5.24% from the prior year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $127.11. The stock closed Thursday at $109.80 and has increased 2.71% year to date.
Everest Re Group The insurance company reported in January fourth-quarter net catastrophe losses of about $245 million; contributing were the floods in Thailand. "The stock trading at 80% of book value likely discounts risk of adverse development on Thai losses, reserve risk, management transition, earnings volatility and skepticism about future earnings estimates," Evercore Partners wrote in a Feb. 16 report. "Accordingly, there could be upside to our $100 price target if management hits its profitability target. We maintain our Equal-Weight rating despite RE's low price to stated book valuation vs. peers, since the stock is trading in line with peers if we adjust peers' book value for excess reserves." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2% Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the prior year. In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 3.37% from the previous year. TheStreet Ratings' price target is $103.21. The stock closed Thursday at $89.17 and has risen 6.04% year to date.