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Airgas Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

During the course of our presentation, we will make reference to certain non-GAAP financial measures and unless otherwise specified, measures referred to in today's discussion will be adjusted for the unusual items identified in our earnings materials. Reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures can be found in our earnings release, in the slide presentation and on our website.

This teleconference will contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations regarding important risk factors, which are identified in the earnings release and in our slide presentation. Actual results may differ materially from these statements, so we ask that you please note our Safe Harbor language.

Please also note that fiscal 2012 first quarter amounts have been adjusted for the retrospective application of a change in method of accounting for a portion of our hardgoods inventory for life of the average cost method. We'll take questions after concluding our prepared remarks as time permits, and we plan to end the teleconference by 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Now I'll turn the call over to Peter to begin our review.

Peter Mccausland

Thanks, Barry. Good morning, and thank you all for joining us. Please turn to Slide 2. I'd like to start today by giving you my overall view of our quarterly results, the current business landscape and our outlook for the rest of the fiscal year.

On the whole, I think our first quarter record results demonstrate the resilience of our business model. Our adjusted earnings were a record $1.13 per share. And while they were within our guided range, albeit at the lower end of that range, they were weighed down by the impact of greater-than-anticipated disruption in our helium supply chain during the quarter. Lower helium sales volumes, driven by the inability of suppliers to meet their helium supply commitments to us during the quarter, reduced earnings by $0.04 per diluted share, only $0.01 or $0.02 of which was anticipated when we provided our guidance in early May. While we expect the global helium supply chain to improve in early calendar 2013, the year-over-year headwinds from reduced volumes will continue to be greater than we had originally anticipated for the remainder of the current fiscal year, and it will take some time for us to regain lost business.

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