Airgas, Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, July 28, 2011. Airgas, Inc., 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 96 cents per share, a rise of 15.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged and it has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $3.91 per share, a rise of 17.1% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 3 cents, reporting net income of 88 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 85 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.15 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 9.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.63 billion for the year, a rise of 8.9% from last year’s revenue of $4.25 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 11 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and three rating it as a hold.

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 56.1% while it rose 19.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 22% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 12.5% to $1.1 billion in fourth quarter of the last fiscal year. The figure rose 9.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 10.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 7.5% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON)
and Rentech, Inc. (AMEX:RTK).

Stock Price Performance: During May 25, 2011 to July 22, 2011, the stock price had risen $2.42 (3.6%) from $67.66 to $70.08. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 16, 2011 and March 28, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 9.7% (+$5.89) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2011 and May 17, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 3.3% (-$2.28) over that span. Shares are up $8.18 (+13.2%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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