Airgas’ quick reaction softens the blow


As Airgas releases its first quarter 2009 earnings, Chairman Peter McCausland says the company’s quick reaction has resulted in only a modest decline in operating margin, helping it to keep focused on forward progress for the long run.

The company reported earnings of $0.66 per diluted share for its first quarter ended 30th June 2009, consistent with the company’s guidance. Quarterly EPS results represent a 19% decline from previous year earnings of $0.81 per diluted share.

First quarter sales were $1.0 bn, a decline of 12% from the previous year. Total same-store sales declined 17%, with hardgoods down 27% and gas and rent down 10%. Acquisitions contributed 5% sales growth in the quarter.

“Sales were consistently at the low end of our expectations throughout the quarter, and demand continues to be weak across most customer segments,” said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland.

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