Airgas Increases First Quarter Dividend by 20%
May 02, 2013 at 07:35 AM EDT
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced that the Board of Directors increased the quarterly cash dividend on the company's common stock by 20%, from $0.40 per share to $0.48 per share. The dividend will be payable on June 28, 2013 to shareholders of record as of June 14, 2013.
“Despite the soft economy, we delivered record adjusted earnings per diluted share* of $4.35 in fiscal 2013, up 6% over the prior year, and we are expecting EPS growth of 15% to 23% in fiscal year 2014,” said Airgas Executive Chairman Peter McCausland. “Strong cash flow continues to be a hallmark of the Airgas business model, and our confidence in Airgas’ long-term prospects and financial stability enables us to increase the dividend while continuing to fund our growth strategies.”
* See attached reconciliations and computations of non-GAAP adjusted earnings per diluted share.
About Airgas, Inc.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.
This press release contains statements that are forward looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the SEC in its rules, regulations and releases. These statements include, but are not limited to: our expectation of 15% to 23% EPS growth in fiscal year 2014. Forward-looking statements also include any statement that is not based on historical fact, including statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "could," "should," "estimates," "continues," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," and similar expressions. We intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors and should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the results expressed therein will be achieved. Airgas assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement include: continued or increased disruption in our helium supply chain; impacts of the EPA ruling related to the production of R-22; the impact of compliance with the Montreal Protocol; adverse changes in customer buying patterns resulting from deterioration in current economic conditions; weakening in the operating and financial performance of our customers, which could negatively impact our sales and our ability to collect our accounts receivable; postponement of projects due to economic developments; customer acceptance of price increases; our ability to achieve anticipated acquisition synergies; supply cost pressures; increased industry competition; our ability to successfully identify, consummate, and integrate acquisitions; our continued ability to access credit markets on satisfactory terms; significant fluctuations in interest rates; increases in energy costs and other operating expenses eroding planned cost savings; higher than expected implementation costs of the SAP system; conversion or implementation problems related to the SAP system that disrupt our business and negatively impact customer relationships; our ability to achieve anticipated benefits enabled by our conversion to the SAP system; higher than expected costs related to our Business Support Center transition; the impact of tightened credit markets on our customers; the impact of changes in tax and fiscal policies and laws; the potential for increased expenditures relating to compliance with environmental regulatory initiatives; the impact of new environmental, healthcare, tax, accounting, and other regulation; the economic recovery in the U.S.; the effect of catastrophic events; political and economic uncertainties associated with current world events; and other factors described in the Company's reports, including its March 31, 2012 Form 10-K, subsequent Forms 10-Q, and other Forms filed by the Company with the SEC.
The Company believes its adjusted earnings per diluted share financial measure provides investors meaningful insight into its earnings performance without the impact of Business Support Center restructuring and other special charges, net, the gain on the sale of businesses, costs (benefits) related to Air Products’ unsolicited takeover attempt, multi-employer pension plan withdrawal charges, and income tax benefits related to the LLC reorganization and foreign tax liability true-up. Non-GAAP financial measures should be read in conjunction with GAAP financial measures, as non-GAAP financial measures are merely a supplement to, and not a replacement for, GAAP financial measures. It should also be noted that the Company’s adjusted earnings per diluted share financial measure may be different from adjusted earnings per diluted share financial measures provided by other companies.