The North American Company Airgas has announced net earnings of $66.6m, or $0.78 per diluted share for its second quarter ended 30th September 2010.
Second quarter sales increased sequentially by 1% to $1.06bn, reflecting a 9% increase on Q2 of the previous year. Similarly, hardgood sales rose by 12%, while gas and rent went up 7%. Acquisitions also contributed 1% sales growth over the prior year.
After deducting other costs, adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 22% on the prior year to $0.83 in Q2 of 2010. Deductions included; $0.03 per diluted share due to legal and professional fees relating to Air Products’ take-over attempt, $0.01 per diluted share due to debt extinguishment charges, and multi-employer pension plan withdrawal charges also equating to $0.01 per diluted share,
Airgas CEO, Peter McCausland, commented, “Our business continued to strengthen in our second quarter, reflecting broad-based improvement in most of our geographies and customer segments, and with the greatest strength in manufacturing.”
“Hardgoods same-store sales accelerated noticeably this quarter as compared to gas and rent same-store sales, which is a trend consistent with an economic recovery. While revenues have not yet recovered to pre-recession levels, we are experiencing favorable leverage on sales growth and are achieving near record results for earnings and margins.$quot;
Operating margin for the quarter improved year-over-year minimally, from 11.6% to 12%. Meanwhile, the adjusted operating margin declined slightly from 12.3% in the first quarter of 2010.
McCausland concluded, “With solid revenue growth and effective cost management, we drove second quarter adjusted EPS that exceeded our guided range, and that matched the second-best earnings quarter in Airgas history. Our SAP implementation is proceeding as planned, and our robust business momentum positions us to continue delivering earnings growth and strong cash flow.”