Traders Buy High Volume of Praxair Call Options (NYSE:PX)

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Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) saw some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors acquired 14,626 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 778% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,665 call options.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Winslow Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Praxair by 101.6% during the 3rd quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC now owns 1,942,828 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $312,270,000 after purchasing an additional 979,342 shares during the last quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. grew its position in Praxair by 11.1% in the 3rd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 4,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $712,000 after acquiring an additional 441 shares in the last quarter. FIL Ltd grew its position in Praxair by 37.3% in the 3rd quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 1,161,860 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $186,747,000 after acquiring an additional 315,372 shares in the last quarter. Suffolk Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Praxair in the 3rd quarter valued at about $12,705,000. Finally, Polaris Capital Management LLC grew its position in Praxair by 8.2% in the 3rd quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 293,268 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $47,137,000 after acquiring an additional 22,315 shares in the last quarter. 86.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of PX traded down $0.99 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $164.50. The company had a trading volume of 57,375,630 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,732,340. Praxair has a 1-year low of $140.00 and a 1-year high of $169.75.

PX has been the topic of a number of research reports. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “$165.03” rating and issued a $194.00 price objective on shares of Praxair in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised Praxair from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $184.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $164.00 target price on shares of Praxair in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Praxair in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, BNP Paribas initiated coverage on Praxair in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $175.42.

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Praxair Company Profile

Praxair, Inc produces and distributes industrial gases. It operates through five segments: North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and Surface Technologies. The company offers atmospheric gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and rare gases; and process gases, such as carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.

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