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Airgas Reports Fiscal 2014 Second 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 second quarter ended September 30, 2013, which reflected the realization of SAP-related benefits as planned, despite sluggish business conditions and continued economic uncertainty. Results for the quarter also reflected the favorable impact of one additional selling day compared to the prior year and the benefit from a change in a state income tax law.

“Our earnings results for the quarter were solidly at the midpoint of our guidance range; however, sales volumes were challenged to a greater degree than expected. Customer activity levels softened during the back half of September, which is normally a time when activity picks up meaningfully,” said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Molinini. “The degree to which the federal government shutdown may have affected our customers is difficult to gauge, but it can only have had a negative impact on business confidence and spending, particularly for our smaller customers. Although we are frustrated by the current economic environment and near-term uncertainty, we will continue to focus on the growth drivers that we can control and are ready to capitalize when sustained growth in the industrial economy resumes.”
  Second Quarter
FY2014   FY2013   % Change
Earnings per diluted share (GAAP) $ 1.27 $ 1.03 23 %
Restructuring and other special charges - 0.02
State income tax benefit **   (0.02 )   -
Adjusted earnings per diluted share (non-GAAP) $ 1.25   $ 1.05 19 %
** The Company’s adjusted effective tax rate*, which excludes the $0.02 per diluted share benefit to
the Company’s income taxes resulting from a change in state income tax law, was 37.5% for the
current quarter. Refer to footnote (e) for additional details.

Second quarter earnings per diluted share were $1.27, up 23% over prior year, and adjusted earnings per diluted share* were $1.25, up 19% over prior year. Results included SAP-related benefits, net of implementation costs and depreciation expense, of $0.11 per diluted share in the current year quarter compared to $0.09 of expense in the prior year quarter.

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