Airgas First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. 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. .

Airgas, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.15 per share, a rise of 16.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.17. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.15 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 16.8% compared to last year’s $4.80.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it reported profit of $1.11 per share versus a mean estimate of $1.07. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of 97 cents per share.

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A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 41.5% to $88.5 million ($1.13 a share) from $62.6 million (74 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12.6% to $1.24 billion from $1.1 billion.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.27 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 9.5% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $5.12 billion for the year, a rise of 7.8% from last year’s revenue of $4.75 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between April 24, 2012 and July 19, 2012, the stock price fell $5.01 (-5.6%), from $89.23 to $84.22. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 19, 2011 and August 31, 2011, when shares rose for nine straight days, increasing 8.9% (+$5.29) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2012 and May 18, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 9.9% (-$9.19) over that span.

Key Stats:

With double-digit revenue growth the past four quarters, this earnings release is a chance to keep that positive trend going. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 11.6% over the last four quarters.

This upcoming earnings announcement will be a chance to build on positive earnings momentum over the last three quarters. Net income rose 16.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 29.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Analyst Ratings: With 11 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and two rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.37 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term. The company improved this liquidity measure from 1.32 in the third quarter of the last fiscal year to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in current assets. Current assets increased 5.9% to $1.27 billion while liabilities rose by 2.4% to $930 million.

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

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