Praxair, Inc. reported second-quarter net income and diluted earnings per share of $308m and $1.06, respectively. These results include the impact of a $146m pre-tax charge, or 39 cents of diluted earnings per share.
This charge was related to cost reduction actions taken in response to lower volumes resulting from economic slowdown in emerging markets and energy related end-markets.
Praxair’s results in the second quarter, as compared to the prior year, were challenged by negative impacts from foreign currency translation, as the US dollar remained strong against most foreign currencies.
Sales in the second quarter were $2.7bn, 12% below the prior-year quarter, primarily due to the impact of negative currency translation of 9% and lower cost pass-through of 2%. Organic sales were 1% lower than the prior-year quarter as positive price and new project contribution were offset by weaker underlying industrial activity in Brazil and China and from weaker metals, energy and manufacturing in the United States.
Reported operating profit in the second quarter was $480m. Adjusted operating profit of $626m was 1% below the prior-year quarter, excluding currency effects. Adjusted operating profit as a percentage of sales grew to 22.9% and the adjusted EBITDA margin grew to 33.4% primarily due to price, strong cost control and productivity gains.
Second-quarter cash flow from operations of $707m funded $352m of capital expenditures.
Acquisition expenditures in the quarter were $38m, primarily related to packaged gas businesses in North and South America. The company paid $205m of dividends and repurchased $217m of stock, net of issuances. After-tax return on capital and return on equity for the quarter were 12.6% and 30.5%, respectively.
Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said, “The second quarter continued to reflect broad-based demand in chemicals, refining and less cyclical end-markets such as healthcare and food and beverage, but revealed further weakening in macro-economic driven demand in South America, China and certain end-markets in the US such as manufacturing and energy.”
“As such, we took actions to better align our organization with these trends.”
“During the second quarter, our employees’ commitment to managing the things within our control enabled Praxair to grow the operating margin to a healthy 23%. Our resilient business model again generated strong operating cash flow of more than $700m to support our disciplined capital allocation strategy.”
“When the markets recover, and ultimately they will, we expect to be in a strong position to realize highly accretive growth.”
For the third quarter of 2015, Praxair expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.42 to $1.49. This EPS guidance assumes a negative currency translation impact of approximately 12% year-over-year. It also excludes the impact of pension settlement charges expected to be recorded in the third quarter.
For full-year 2015, Praxair expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.80 to $5.95, up 3% to 6% ex-currency from 2014. This EPS guidance assumes a negative currency translation impact of approximately 11% year-over-year.
Full-year capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $1.6bn and the effective tax rate is forecasted to remain at approximately 28%.
Following is additional detail on second-quarter 2015 results by segment.
In North America, second-quarter sales were $1.482bn, down 1% from the prior-year quarter excluding cost-pass through and negative currency translation. Volume growth to food and beverage and refinery customers was more than offset by weaker metals, upstream energy and manufacturing end-markets. Operating profit of $388m was comparable to the prior-year quarter, excluding currency translation, as price, productivity and cost actions were offset by lower volumes.
In Europe, second-quarter sales were $331m, 19% below the prior-year quarter. Organic sales were 1% below the prior year as growth in manufacturing, food and beverage and healthcare was offset by lower energy end-market sales in Northern Europe. Operating profit of $63m was steady with the prior-year quarter, excluding currency translation, as price and productivity offset the impact of lower volumes.
In South America, second-quarter sales were $388m, 24% below the prior-year quarter. Organic sales, excluding negative currency translation and cost pass-through, grew 3% primarily from higher price which offset lower volumes. Operating profit was $81m.
Sales in Asia were $387m in the quarter, 2% above the prior year excluding currency and cost pass-through. Volume growth from new plant start-ups was offset primarily by slowing industrial activity in China. Operating profit was $69m.
Praxair Surface Technologies had second-quarter sales of $150m as compared to $174m in the prior-year quarter. Excluding negative currency translation impact, organic sales were 6% lower. Favorable price and higher aerospace volumes were more than offset by weaker energy end-market sales. Operating profit was $25m.