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Airgas Reports Fiscal 2016 First Quarter Earnings
- Organic sales up 2% compared to prior year; Distribution organic sales flat; All Other Operations organic sales up 16%
- Diluted EPS of $1.16, in line with guidance; prior year diluted EPS was $1.18
- Free cash flow* of $120 million, up 15% over prior year
- Updated fiscal year 2016 diluted EPS guidance to $4.90 to $5.05, representing 1% to 4% growth over fiscal 2015 diluted EPS, prior fiscal year 2016 diluted EPS guidance was $4.85 to $5.15
RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 28, 2015--Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today reported earnings per diluted share of $1.16 for its first quarter ended June 30, 2015, down 2% compared to the prior year earnings per diluted share of $1.18, in line with the Company’s expectations and reflective of the challenging economic conditions.
First quarter sales increased 3% over the prior year to $1.3 billion. Organic sales were up 2% over the prior year, with gas and rent up 5% and hardgoods down 3%. In the Distribution segment, organic sales were flat compared to the prior year, with gas and rent up 2% and hardgoods down 3%. In the All Other Operations segment, organic sales were up 16%, primarily driven by increased sales in the refrigerants, CO2 and dry ice businesses. Acquisitions contributed sales growth of 1% in the quarter on both a consolidated basis and in the Distribution segment.
“Cash flows were again strong, and we delivered earnings squarely in the middle of our guidance range. As anticipated, sales to our customers engaged in the energy and chemical and the manufacturing and metal fabrication sectors remained challenged through the quarter,” said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Molinini. “One bright spot is the continued strength we are seeing in non-residential construction. After a relatively slow calendar 2014, our March 2015 quarter saw year-over-year growth in non-residential construction of 5% and this quarter year-over-year growth reached 6%. We remain focused on things we can control including leveraging our industry leading platform and managing expenses.”
Selling, distribution, and administrative expenses increased 4% over the prior year, with operating costs associated with acquired businesses representing approximately 1% of the increase. The balance of the increase reflects normal inflation and rising healthcare costs, as well as the incremental costs to support strong sales growth in the All Other Operations segment. Selling, distribution, and administrative expenses in the Distribution segment increased 2% over the prior year, excluding the impact of operating costs associated with acquired businesses.
Operating margin was 11.3%, down 50 basis points compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the impact of the increase in selling, distribution, and administrative expenses in the current low organic sales growth environment related to our Distribution segment.
Free cash flow* for the quarter was $120 million, up 15% over the prior year, and adjusted cash from operations* was $232 million, up 13% over the prior year. During the first quarter, the Company repurchased 1.0 million shares on the open market for $104 million, reflecting an average price of $103.84 per share.
The following information was filed by Airgas Inc (ARG) on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.
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