Air Liquide and Linde to see 2012 growth on improved prices– analyst

20 April 2012 10:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Industrial gas companies Air Liquide and Linde are expected to see continued revenue growth in 2012 due to price improvements and growth in emerging markets, global analyst Bernstein Research said on Friday.

Bernstein said that it is confident that France-based Air Liquide and Germany’s Linde will see further margin stability through price improvements in the US and Europe, and through continued cost cutting.

“We remain positive on pricing, as we have seen continued improvement in European industrial gases prices in February,” said the analyst.

“These price increases were sufficient to offset cost inflation of +3% year on year in terms of price.

“Meanwhile, prices in the US in March were flat (+5% year on year), but are still up more than costs (+2% year on year),” said the analyst.

Bernstein said it expects revenue growth for both Linde and Air Liquide to also come from continued project start-ups, takeovers and growth in emerging markets.

Bernstein rates Air Liquide “outperform” with a target share price of €120 ($158). The analyst rates Linde “market-perform” with a target share price of €135.

At 09:11 GMT, Air Liquide’s shares were trading at €97.04 on the London Stock Exchange, while Linde’s shares were trading at €129.45.

On Thursday, the European Commission announced that it had approved Linde’s proposed acquisition of US-based Air Products homecare business, which includes operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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