Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Revenue Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:APD) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Air Products and Chemicals is a global supplier of gases and chemicals for industrial use. It provides customers in the technology, energy, and healthcare sectors with a variety of services and solutions, including atmospheric gases and semiconductor materials.

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Air Products and Chemicals Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Air Products and Chemicals Inc. rose to $324.8 million ($1.51 per share) vs. $272.1 million ($1.25 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 19.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 11.1% to $2.61 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: APD fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of $1.51 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.63 billion.

Quoting Management: Commenting on the results, John McGlade, chairman, president and CEO said, “This quarter’s improvements were driven by growth in emerging markets and strong performance in our Tonnage Gases business. Overall economic activity for this quarter continued at the slower underlying growth rate we saw last quarter.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 11.4%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter when revenue rose 14.5% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 28.9% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 20.8%.

Gross margin shrank 1.1 percentage points to 26.8%. The contraction appeared to be driven by increased costs, which rose 12.7% from the year earlier quarter while revenue rose 11.1%.

The company has now fallen in line with estimates for the past two quarters. It reported net income of $1.46 in the third quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved down from $1.57 a share to $1.44 over the last ninety days. The average estimate hasn’t changed from $5.73 per share for the fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG), Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), Rentech, Inc. (AMEX:RTK).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)