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Airgas Reports Fiscal 2014 First Quarter Earnings

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today reported sales and earnings results for its first quarter ended June 30, 2013, which reflected the impact of continued economic uncertainty and sluggish business conditions on its diversified customer base, as well as a greater than expected negative impact on its refrigerants business from the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling on R-22 production allowances. Results for the quarter also reflected the realization of SAP-related benefits, net of implementation costs incurred, as planned.

“The EPA’s unexpected ruling in late March to allow for an increase in the production of R-22 this year challenged our refrigerants business to a greater extent than we had estimated, with the unusually cool spring weather across much of the country exacerbating its impact on our results. Both volumes and pricing of R-22 were pressured following the EPA ruling, and the year-over-year negative impact on our earnings this quarter was $0.07 per diluted share compared to the estimated year-over-year negative impact of $0.04 per diluted share we had assumed in our guidance,” said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Molinini. “Absent the incremental refrigerants impact, our results for the quarter were in-line with the mid-point of our earnings per share guidance range, with Distribution segment organic sales up 1% in what continues to be a very challenging economic environment.”
First Quarter
FY2014     FY2013 % Change
Earnings per diluted share (GAAP) $ 1.14 $ 1.15 -1 %
Restructuring and other special charges, net - 0.05
Gain on sale of businesses   -   (0.07 )
Adjusted earnings per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 1.14 $ 1.13   1 %

First quarter earnings per diluted share were $1.14, down 1% compared to prior year earnings per diluted share of $1.15 and up 1% over prior year adjusted earnings per diluted share* of $1.13. Results included SAP-related benefits, net of implementation costs and depreciation expense, of $0.06 per diluted share in the current year quarter compared to $0.10 of expense in the prior year quarter, as well as the year-over-year decline in earnings per diluted share related to our refrigerants business.

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