Strong Stock Performance for Major US Gas Companies in 2010


Robert W. Baird & Co (www.rwbarid.com) provides research coverage on 20 industrial distributors and service companies, including the US publicly-traded gas companies Airgas (ARG), Air Products (APD), and Praxair (PX). Baird produces a quarterly industrial distribution survey and recently partnered with CryoGas International to create and publish a quarterly survey of North American packaged gas and hardgoods distributors.(See the 4Q’10 “Quarterly Report” on p. 16.) 

In this article, David J. Manthey, a Chartered Financial Analyst with Baird who has been following the packaged gas industry for nearly a decade, recaps the financial activities of the major US gas players in 2010.

Stock Performance 

Driven by an economic recovery and a muchimproved stock market backdrop, 2010 was a year of strong stock performance by the publicly traded US industrial gas companies. The performances of Airgas and Air Products were mainly driven by Air Products’ unsolicited takeover attempt of Airgas and the events that followed. Going forward, the outlook for industrial gas stocks in 2011 is positive, with continued moderate growth expectations in industrial end markets, stabilization across many construction-related markets, and upward pressure on pricing for both gas and hardgoods.

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