New Lifetime High Reached: 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 $80.9 million.
  • ARG has traded 105,780 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 31. Currently there are no analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Airgas has been 807,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Airgas has a market cap of $10.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and chemicals industry. The stock has a beta of 0.72 and a short float of 4.6% with 5.24 days to cover. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, ARG's share price has jumped by 35.06%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • 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 10.7%. 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.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness 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.

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