New Lifetime High Today: Airgas (ARG)

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 $157.7 million.
  • ARG has traded 261,586 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 welding equipment and related products. It operates through two segments, Distribution and All Other Operations. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.7%. ARG has a PE ratio of 3. Currently there are no analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Airgas has been 1.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Airgas has a market cap of $10.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The stock has a beta of 0.78 and a short float of 2.2% with 1.27 days to cover. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for AIRGAS INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.24%. 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 5.70% trails the industry average.
  • AIRGAS INC's earnings per share declined by 17.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AIRGAS INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.86 versus $4.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.90 versus $4.86).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $140.86 million or 18.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow AIRGAS INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -32.48%.

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