Praxair Inc. has reported Q4 net income and diluted earnings per share of US$302 million and US$1.03 respectively. These results include charges to net income related to Venezuela current devaluation, a bond redemption and a pension settlement. Excluding these items, adjusted net income and diluted earnings per share were US$460 million and US$1.57 respectively. Sales in Q4 were US$2,990 million, 3% above the prior year quarter excluding negative currency translation effects. Organic sales growth was driven by increased volumes, including volume growth from new plant startups, and higher price across the Americas and Asia.
Reported operating profit for Q4 was US$525 million. Adjusted operating profit of US$663 million was steady with the prior year quarter, excluding currency translation effects. Adjusted operating profit as a percentage of sales remained strong at 22.2%. Q4 cash flow from operations of US$772 million funded US$482 million of capital expenditures. The company paid US$189 million of dividends and repurchased US$282 million of stock, net of issuances.
For the full year of 2014, reported net income was US$1,694 million and diluted earnings per share was US$5.73. On an adjusted basis, full year net income was US$1,852 million and diluted earnings per share was US$6.27, 5% above the prior year respectively. Full year sales were US$ 12 273, 6% above 2013 excluding negative currency translation. Growth was driven by higher volumes, pricing and acquisitions. Reported operating profit was US$2,608 million. Adjusted operating profit of US$2,746 million was 6% above 2013, excluding negative currency translation.
For the full year, cash flow from operations was strong at US$2,868 million, 23% of sales. After capital expenditures of US$1,689 million, free cash flow was a record US$1,179 million. The company invested US$206 million in acquisitions, including several US packaged gas distributors. The company paid dividends of US$759 million and repurchased US$759 million of stock, net of issuances.
Steve Angel, Chairman, President and CEO said, “Praxair’s operational and capital discipline again yielded high quality results in 2014, despite a challenging global environment. We generated strong operating cash flow of US$2.9 billion that represented 23% of sales and recorded free cash flow of US$1.2 billion. Operating and EBITDA margins grew to new highs.”
“Looking forward to 2015, we expect modest global growth. More than half of our sales are generated in North America and with our industry leading presence we will continue to take advantage of the underlying economic strengths of the region. While we continue to see slowing macroeconomic trends in the rest of the world, our diverse end markets and strong local teams will continue to drive resilient operating results and increasing cash flow.”
Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd
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