Praxair, Inc. has once again seen sales increase across all geographic regions, with fourth quarter 2010 and full-year 2010 financial results bringing cheer to the company.

In terms of the fourth quarter results, sales were seen to be increasing largely due to the electronics, manufacturing, energy and metals markets.

Praxair reported fourth-quarter net income and diluted earnings per share of $133m and 43 cents, respectively. These results were reduced by $255m, related primarily to the previously announced Spanish income tax settlement.

Excluding this impact, adjusted net income and diluted earnings per share were $388m and $1.25, 14% and 15% above the prior-year quarter, respectively.

Sales in the fourth quarter were $2.623m, up 9% from $2.407m in the previous year’s quarter, due to 8% volume growth. Sales increased across all geographic regions due primarily to electronics, manufacturing, energy and metals markets. Sales rose 3% sequentially from the third quarter, due to higher volumes and positive currency effects.

Reported operating profit in the fourth quarter was $505m.

Meanwhile, for the full year of 2010, reported net income was $1.195m and adjusted net income was $1.476m, up 18% from adjusted 2009 net income. Full-year sales were $10.116m, up 13% due primarily to higher volumes. While reported operating profit was $2.082m, adjusted operating profit of $2.167m was 15% above 2009, largely due to volumes and continued leverage from productivity and cost reduction programs.

Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said, “Our global business turned in a strong performance in 2010. We achieved record operating profit by leveraging the strong recovery in volumes and new plant start-ups along with ongoing productivity and cost reduction.”

“We continued to invest in capital projects for future growth and established a presence in two growing geographies, Russia and the Middle East.”

“As we look forward,” Angel continued, “we expect our project backlog to grow as a result of the significant number of opportunities we are seeing in energy and emerging markets. We continue to augment our base business growth with application technologies that improve our customers’ processes. We will maintain our intense focus on productivity, project execution and capital discipline.”

“We expect to continue to generate strong cash flow which will fund new projects around the world and return cash to our shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.”

For the first quarter of 2011, Praxair expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.23 to $1.28.

For the full year of 2011, Praxair expects sales in the area of $11bn. Full-year capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $1.5bn to $1.8bn.