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Praxair, Air Products Report Strong Results

8:53 AM MDT | April 23, 2008 | Kerri Walsh

Praxair reported first-quarter net income up 20%, to $318 million (99 cts/share), excluding a pension settlement charge, on sales up 22%, to about $2.7 billion. The consensus of analysts' estimates as reported by First Call (Boston) was for 95 cts/share. Earnings were $307 million including the charge. Praxair says sales rose in every geographic region, and growth came primarily from new business, plant start-ups, and strong pricing trends. Operating profit excluding the charge rose 23%, to $499 million. Improved pricing and cost savings from productivity...

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