Airgas lowers fourth quarter earnings guidance


In light of the prevailing economic conditions offering limited visibility into future sales and earnings, Airgas has lowered earnings guidance for its fourth quarter ending March 31, 2009.

The company has changed its previous guidance of $0.73 to $0.76 per share for the fourth quarter and $3.16 to $3.19 for the full year, to around $0.64 to $0.67 for the fourth quarter and $3.07 to $3.10 for the full year.

The original guidance had assumed a modest decline from third quarter sales levels, yielding a low to mid single-digit percentage decline in total same-store sales.

Assuming current sales trends persist, the Company now expects a fourth quarter total same-store sales decline in the low teens, with hardgoods declining more significantly than gas and rent.

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