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Air Products 2Q Profit Up 21% On Higher Volumes; Outlook Raised

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Air Products & Chemicals Inc.'s (APD) fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 21% on higher sales volumes in its major segments and increased revenue from Asia. The results beat expectations. The industrial-gas maker also raised its current fiscal-year earnings outlook by 5 cents over its most recent February forecast to $5.65 to $5.75 a share. For the current quarter, Air Products projected a per-share profit between $1.42 and $1.47, bracketing the $1.45 estimate from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Air Products has posted expectation-beating results of late as its merchant gases business, its largest by revenue, grows on booming sales in Asia. Rising raw materials costs have forced the company to hike prices, but it still managed to raise its quarterly dividend 18% last month in a bid to return value to shareholders after the company's bruising attempt to take over rival Airgas Inc. (ARG). For the quarter ended March 31, Air Products reported a profit of $304.3 million, or $1.39 a share, up from $252 million, or $1.16 a share, a year earlier. The latest results included 2 cents a share in after-tax charges related to the failed Airgas bid. The company in January had predicted earnings of $1.36 to $1.40. Revenue rose 11% to $2.5 billion, ahead of Wall Street expectations of $2.43 billion. Operating margin widened to 16.8% from 15.1%. Sales in Air Products' merchant gases business rose 10% on higher volumes, especially in Asia. The company's tonnage gases segment, which sells hydrogen, synthesis gas and carbon monoxide to refineries and other large manufacturers, reported a 5.6% revenue increase. Sales in the electronics and performance materials segment surged 28% on higher volumes and pricing. Shares closed Wednesday at $93.72 and were inactive premarket. The stock has gained 22% over the past 12 months. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

Stock News for Air Products (APD)
08/26/201512:04:19Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
08/26/201508:21:09Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
08/25/201508:19:38Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
08/25/201508:18:32Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
08/24/201509:44:17Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
08/19/201515:16:00Air Products Holds Grand Opening at Its Doe Canyon Helium Plant
08/17/201510:37:00Air Products Signs Second Deal to Supply Integrated Oxy-fuel...
08/04/201514:00:00Air Products' CFO to Address Jefferies 2015 Industrials Conference
08/03/201508:25:11Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership (3)
08/03/201508:16:23Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
07/30/201515:20:09Air Products Profit Rises Amid Cost Cuts
07/30/201514:46:14Air Products & Chemicals Profit Rises Amid Cost Cuts -- 2nd Update
07/30/201513:38:09Air Products Shares Rise After Better-Than-Seen Profits -- Update
07/30/201512:58:52Quarterly Report (10-q)
07/30/201508:27:25Current Report Filing (8-k)
07/30/201508:06:34Air Products and Chemicals Sales Fall, but Profit Edges Higher
07/30/201506:00:00Air Products Reports Fiscal 2015 Third Quarter EPS Up 13 Percent*
07/29/201516:17:42Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
07/29/201516:15:51Current Report Filing (8-k)
07/29/201516:05:00Air Products' Board Elects New Director

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