Praxair reported first-quarter net income of $389 million. The results included transaction costs of $6 million after-tax related to its potential merger with Linde AG; excluding that charge, adjusted net income was $395 million.
First-quarter 2016 net income and diluted earnings per share was $356 million, which included a $16 million charge to interest expense ($10 million after-tax) related to a bond redemption prior to maturity. Excluding that charge, adjusted net income for that quarter was $366 million.
The Danbury-based industrial gas giant’s sales in the first quarter totaled nearly $2.73 billion, up 6 percent, driven primarily by higher volumes in North America, Europe and Asia and by new project startups. Sales growth was led by metals, downstream energy, chemicals and electronics.
Reported operating profit in the just-ended quarter was $582 million, a 5 percent improvement over the prior-year quarter. Excluding the current quarter impact of transaction costs, adjusted operating profit was $588 million, 6 percent above the prior-year quarter while reported operating profit as a percentage of sales was 21.3 percent.
“We have made significant progress on the potential merger with Linde AG and are working toward reaching a definitive agreement as soon as practicable,” Praxair Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said in a statement.
Workers at Munich-based Linde weren’t so sure, however: some 2,500 workers reportedly rallied at over 30 sites on April 27 to protest the merger, citing fears of job cuts and a potential weakening of its union’s impact on management decisions should the merger be approved.