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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; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com

Stock News for Airgas (ARG)
DateTimeHeadline
04/13/201517:26:06Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/13/201500:20:03Dividend Increases, March 23-April 10, 2015
04/10/201512:00:00Airgas Updates Fourth Quarter Earnings Teleconference Time
04/09/201514:30:00Airgas Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Schedule
04/07/201516:05:00Airgas Increases First Quarter Dividend by 9%
04/02/201517:58:15Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/02/201517:57:49Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/02/201517:57:25Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/02/201517:56:58Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/01/201504:45:17Airgas: Shares Likely To Bounce Back, But Still Pretty Pricey
03/30/201514:20:53Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
03/30/201514:17:39Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
03/27/201507:30:00Airgas to Build New Air Separation Unit (ASU) in Tuscaloosa...
03/20/201508:59:55Airgas cuts FQ4 earnings, revenue guidance
03/20/201508:36:31Current Report Filing (8-k)
03/20/201508:30:00Airgas Provides Update on Fiscal 2015 Fourth Quarter Organic...
03/19/201516:00:00Airgas Names Matthew B. Whitton President â Airgas Northern C...
03/11/201514:14:44Current Report Filing (8-k)
03/10/201510:52:28Amended Statement of Ownership (sc 13g/a)
03/05/201513:00:00Airgas Names Pamela J. Claypool as President â Airgas North D...

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