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Research Alert: CFRA Maintains Buy Recommendation On Shares Of Linde Plc

· 02/05/2021 08:52

01:50 PM EST, 02/05/2021 (MT Newswires) -- CFRA, an independent research provider, has provided MT Newswires with the following research alert. Analysts at CFRA have summarized their opinion as follows:

We increase our 12-month target by $4 to $285, 31.0x our '21 EPS estimate, a premium to LIN's three-year average forward P/E of 26.7x, which we think is warranted by LIN's significant backlog of attractive growth projects, tied to secular growth in healthcare, electronics, and clean energy. We raise our '21 EPS estimate by $0.15 to $9.20 and start our '22 EPS forecast at $10.25. LIN posts Q4 adjusted EPS of $2.30 vs. $1.89, $0.15 above consensus, driven by a top-line beat of 3.4%. Q4 sales increased Y/Y by 2.7% (two-thirds from price attainment and one-third from higher volumes) and adjusted EBIT rose by nearly 20%, as the adjusted EBIT margin expanded by 315 basis points Y/Y to around 22.2%, 55 basis points better than consensus. In '20, LIN generated $7.4 billion in operating cash flow (up 21%) and returned $4.4 billion to shareholders (dividends and share buybacks). In '21, we forecast sales growth of 7%, adjusted EPS growth of nearly 12%, capex of around $3.3 billion, and free cash flow of $4.2 billion.