Praxair Reports Record Full-Year 2012 Earnings And Cash Flow

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) announced full-year 2012 reported net income of $1,692 million and reported diluted earnings per share of $5.61. On an adjusted basis, full-year net income was $1,681 million and diluted earnings per share was $5.57, 3% above the prior year.*

Full-year sales were $11,224, 5% above 2011 excluding negative foreign currency translation and cost pass-through effects.

Reported operating profit was $2,437 million. Adjusted operating profit was $2,502 million, compared to $2,469 million in the prior year.* The increase was driven by higher volumes, higher pricing and productivity, partially offset by currency translation effects. Operating profit in North America grew by 10%, but was largely offset by lower operating profit in Europe and South America.

For the full year, cash flow from operations was a record $2,752 million, up 12% from 2011. Capital expenditures, primarily for new production plants under long-term contracts with customers, were $2,180 million. The company invested $280 million in acquisitions, for seventeen North American packaged gas distributors and an industrial gas business in Russia. The company paid $655 million of dividends and repurchased $459 million of stock, net of issuances.

For the fourth quarter, net income and diluted earnings per share were $414 million and $1.38, as compared to adjusted amounts of $414 million and $1.36 in the prior-year quarter, respectively.*

Sales in the fourth quarter were $2,799 million, comparable to the prior-year, as higher price and acquisitions were offset by negative currency effects. Operating profit in the fourth quarter was $616 million versus $619 million in the prior-year quarter.*

Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, chairman and chief executive officer Steve Angel said, “In 2012, Praxair delivered record operating cash flow of $2.8 billion, which represented 25% of sales. We also achieved a record operating margin of 22.3%, which we achieved through global productivity gains as well as price attainment in most operating segments. Our industry-leading North American business achieved double-digit operating profit growth with strength across most end markets. These strong results were mitigated by recessions in Brazil and Europe, moderating growth in China, and significant currency translation headwinds.

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