As its products gain new customers in the energy sector and emerging markets, industrial gases company Praxair experienced a second-quarter net income increase of 18 percent and posted third-quarter earnings per share pegged at 89-91 cents.

Now expecting to earn $3.50 to $3.55 per share on sales growth in the range of 10-12 percent, Praxair has announced it is to raise its forecast for 2007 earnings and capital expenditure.

The company had previously indicated it anticipated full-year sales growth of only 8-10 percent

Forbes reports that analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect, on average, earnings per share of 90 cents for the September quarter and $3.50 for the year 2007.

Full-year capital expenditures are expected to total up to $1.3bn, with the US firm indicating that the investment will fund a growing number of new projects under long-term contracts with customers which will support revenue and earnings growth over the next three years.