Airgas, Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 3, 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 $1.07 per share, a rise of 21.6% 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. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 21.3% versus last year to $4.05.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of 97 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 97 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.22 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 10.9% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.72 billion for the year, a rise of 11.1% 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 two rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 29.5% to $72.3 million (93 cents a share) from $55.8 million (65 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 11.5% to $1.15 billion from $1.03 billion.

Key Stats:

The company enters this earnings announcement with substantial revenue momentum. 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 15.5% in the first quarter and 16.7% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 1, 2012 and April 27, 2012, the stock price rose $12.87 (16.3%), from $78.72 to $91.59. 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% (+$5.22) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between February 28, 2012 and March 6, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 2.5% (-$2.06) over that span.

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

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