Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) reported second-quarter net income and diluted earnings per share of $445 million and $1.49, 4% and 5% above the prior-year quarter, respectively.
Sales in the second quarter were $3,014 million, 7% above the prior-year quarter. Strong volumes in Asia and South America were partially mitigated by lower volumes in Europe, while North American volumes were comparable to the prior year. Acquisitions contributed 3% growth in the quarter.
Operating profit in the second quarter was $665 million, up 5% compared to the prior-year quarter. The increase was driven by higher overall volumes, higher pricing and acquisitions, partially offset by negative currency translation effects. Operating profit as a percentage of sales was 22.1%.
Second-quarter cash flow from operations was $577 million and capital expenditures were $522 million, primarily for new production plants under long-term contracts with customers. The company invested $171 million in acquisitions of Dominion Technology Gases, Volgograd Oxygen Factory and several packaged gas distributors in the United States. The company paid dividends of $177 million and repurchased $152 million of stock, net of issuances. The debt-to-capital ratio was 57.9% and debt-to-EBITDA was 2.1x.* The after-tax return on capital and return on equity for the quarter were 13.0% and 28.4%, respectively.*Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel said, “Our on-site business continued to be very strong with improving volumes to the energy, chemicals and metals industries across the Americas and Asia. Merchant deliveries continued to grow modestly with stable demand from healthcare and food and beverage. However, packaged gas demand weakened slightly due to poor overall business confidence and lower private and public spending on construction and capital projects. In the near term, we expect these trends to continue with the strongest growth in chemicals, energy and emerging markets. Fortunately, we are well positioned geographically and have a strong backlog of large on-site projects being readied for start-up.”
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