New Lifetime High Reached: Airgas (ARG)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Airgas ( ARG) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Airgas as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • ARG has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $38.9 million.
  • ARG has traded 177,330 shares today.
  • ARG is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on ARG:

Airgas, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, supplies industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods. The company operates through two business segments, Distribution and All Other Operations. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.7%. ARG has a PE ratio of 24.2. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Airgas has been 341,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Airgas has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The stock has a beta of 0.53 and a short float of 1.9% with 3.54 days to cover. Shares are up 21.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AIRGAS INC has improved earnings per share by 23.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AIRGAS INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.36 versus $4.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.92 versus $4.36).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 80.95% to $210.50 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AIRGAS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.83%.
  • The gross profit margin for AIRGAS INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.52%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.40% trails the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AIRGAS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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