Airgas lowers third quarter earnings guidance


Sales at Airgas declined sharply in the month of December, prompting the company to lower earnings guidance for its third quarter, ended December 31, 2008.

The company now expects fully diluted earnings per share for its third quarter to be in the region of $0.74 to $0.76, an increase of 10% to 13% over the previous year third quarter earnings of $0.82 to $0.84 per share.

The decline in sales during December was driven by rapidly slowing macro economic conditions and extended shutdowns during the holiday season.

Total same-store sales for the quarter were essentially flat with the previous year, as hardgoods same-store sales contracted while gas and rent same-store sales slowed but remained positive.

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