Yesterday, Airgas, Inc. announced a program to repurchase up to $300m of its outstanding shares of common stock. The announcement followed-on from fiscal fourth quarter 2011 reports released on the same day.

As of 4th May, Airgas had approximately 79.8m common shares outstanding. Airgas completed its previous $300m share repurchase authorisation as of the end of March 2011.

Peter McCausland, CEO described the move as indicative of the firms’ solidity. He said, “This new share repurchase program reflects our continuing confidence in the future. Our business is strengthening, our balance sheet is solid, and we continue to generate strong cash flow. Accordingly, we are able to repurchase shares and realise attractive earnings accretion while funding our growth strategies.”

Accompanying the official company announcement, Airgas released the following statement:

Airgas may repurchase shares from time to time for cash in open market transactions or in privately-negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable federal securities laws. The Company will determine the timing and the amount of any repurchases based on its evaluation of market conditions, share price and other factors. The stock repurchase program will be funded under the Company’s existing credit facility, has no pre-established closing date, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.