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Airgas Reports Fiscal Third Quarter Earnings

Fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings per diluted share* guidance excludes the following restructuring and other special charges and net benefits: a $0.05 charge in the first quarter; a $0.02 charge in the second quarter; a $0.01 net benefit in the third quarter; and an expected charge of $0.01 in the fourth quarter (resulting in an expected net charge of $0.07 for the full year). Fiscal 2013 guidance also excludes a $0.07 gain on the sale of businesses in the first quarter. Special gains and charges and net benefits in fiscal 2012 were a net total charge of $0.11.

The Company will conduct an earnings teleconference at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, January 24. The teleconference will be available by calling (888) 228-5281 (U.S./Canada) or (913) 312-1507 (International). The presentation materials (this press release, slides to be presented during the Company’s teleconference and information about how to access a live and on demand webcast of the teleconference) are available in the “Investor Information” section of the Company’s website at A webcast of the teleconference will be available live and on demand through February 22 at A replay of the teleconference will be available through February 1. To listen, call (888) 203-1112 (U.S./Canada) or (719) 457-0820 (International) and enter passcode 6472077.

Note that the Company has changed its reference to sales adjusted for the impact of acquisitions and divestitures from “same-store sales” to “organic sales.” Growth rates presented in prior periods and the underlying calculation have not been materially affected by this change.

* See attached reconciliations and computations of non-GAAP adjusted earnings per diluted share, adjusted operating margin, adjusted cash from operations, adjusted capital expenditures, free cash flow, and return on capital.

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 eBusiness, 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

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: expectations related to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, including earnings per diluted share of $1.17 to $1.23, adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.18 to $1.24, a year-over-year decline of $0.04 from the impact of one less selling day in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, a year-over-year decline of $0.01 per diluted share from the impact of lower sales due to helium supply constraints, a decline of $0.02 due to a higher tax rate, as well as $0.04 to $0.06 per diluted share of SAP-related benefits, net of implementation costs and depreciation expense, and $0.01 per diluted share of restructuring and other special charges; expectations related to fiscal year 2013, including earnings per diluted share and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $4.40 to $4.46, a year-over-year decline of $0.07 from the impact of two less selling days in fiscal 2013, a year-over-year decline of $0.07 per diluted share from the impact of lower sales due to helium supply constraints, a decline of $0.02 due to a higher tax rate, approximately $0.16 to $0.18 per diluted share of SAP implementation costs and depreciation expense, net of expected benefits, and a net $0.07 per diluted share of restructuring and other special charges; expectations regarding future SAP implementation costs, our realization of economic benefits from our SAP implementation, shareholder value creation, and the completion of the SAP implementation and related distractions; and our outlook for future earnings growth, the near-term business environment, and our long-term prospects. 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; 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.

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