Airgas Earnings: Fifth Straight Quarters of Double-Digit Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Airgas Inc. (NYSE:ARG) reported its results for the first quarter. Airgas, through its subsidiaries, distributes industrial, medical, and specialty gases and hardgoods in the United States. It offers a range of gases, including nitrogen and helium, as well as welding and fuel gases.

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Airgas Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for Airgas Inc. rose to $90.8 million ($1.15 per share) vs. $75 million (94 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 21.1% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 8% to $1.26 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Airgas Inc. fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of $1.15 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.27 billion.

Quoting Management: “Our earnings were strong, notwithstanding the significant incremental challenges we faced in our helium supply chain during the quarter,” said Airgas Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland. “The slow and steady growth we had been seeing across our customer base through May moderated in June. We are paying close attention to our business trends and tightening controls on our operating expenses. Though we are appropriately cautious about near-term conditions, we remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the U.S. manufacturing and energy industries and our ability to leverage our unique value proposition and unrivaled platform to drive growth in these and other key customer segments.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has increased for four consecutive quarters. Revenue increased 12.6% to $1.24 billion in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year. The figure rose 11.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier and climbed 11.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the previous quarter with net income of $1.11 versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.07 per share.

Looking Forward: Over the past sixty days, the outlook for the company’s performance next quarter has become increasingly unfavorable. The average estimate for the second quarter is $1.19 per share, a drop from $1.20. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $4.80 per share, a rise from $4.73 ninety days ago.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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