April 27, 2005 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) today reported net income of $175 million or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $.75 for its second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2005. Net income increased 24 percent and diluted EPS was up 21 percent compared with the prior year.
Record quarter revenues of $2,003 million were up eight percent over the prior year, driven mainly by higher volumes across the Gases segment and higher pricing in Chemicals. Operating income of $252 million was up 20 percent from the prior year, principally driven by volume gains and lower costs from ongoing productivity projects.
John P. Jones, Air Products' chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This is the fifth consecutive quarter we improved our return on capital and posted a greater than 20 percent earnings per share increase. Strong volume gains in Gases and Equipment coupled with significant improvement in our Chemicals business produced those results. By loading our assets and delivering on productivity commitments, we increased our operating margin to 12.6 percent. We also generated strong cash flows, announced a $500 million share repurchase program and increased our dividend for the 23rd consecutive year."
Gases segment sales of $1,412 million increased 10 percent over the prior year. Increased volumes in North America and Asia base gases, refinery hydrogen, electronics and homecare contributed six percent of the growth, while favorable currency and homecare acquisitions contributed the remainder. Operating income of $207 million increased nine percent over the prior year, driven by higher volumes.
Chemicals segment sales of $499 million were up three percent versus the prior year on improved pricing to recover higher raw material and energy costs, offset by the impact of divestitures within the past year. Operating income of $45 million increased 30 percent over the prior year on lower costs and improved pricing.
Equipment segment revenues of $93 million rose four percent over the prior year, mainly on higher LNG sales. Operating income of $8 million was significantly higher. In addition, the company recently announced two new orders for its proprietary AP-X™ LNG heat exchangers, bringing the year-to-date total to four.
Looking forward, Mr. Jones said, "We still expect continued volume gains during our second half, particularly in our refinery hydrogen, equipment and homecare businesses, despite general concerns about slowing growth in manufacturing. We will continue to focus on productivity as well as pricing improvements to address increases in raw material and energy costs."
The company projects a full-year EPS range of $3.00 to $3.15 and a third fiscal quarter EPS range of $.77 to $.82.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $7.4 billion, operations in over 30 countries, and nearly 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: The forward-looking statements contained in this release are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed. Factors that might cause forward-looking statements to differ materially from actual results include those specifically referenced as future events or outcomes that the company anticipates, as well as, among other things, overall economic and business conditions different than those currently anticipated and demand for Air Products' goods and services during that time; competitive factors in the industries in which it competes; interruption in ordinary sources of supply; the ability to recover unanticipated increased energy and raw material costs from customers; uninsured litigation judgments or settlements; spikes in the pricing of natural gas; changes in government regulations; consequences of acts of war or terrorism impacting the United States' and other markets; charges related to currently unplanned portfolio management and cost reduction actions; the success of implementing cost reduction programs; the timing, impact and other uncertainties of future acquisitions or divestitures; significant fluctuations in interest rates and foreign currencies from that currently anticipated; the impact of tax and other legislation and regulations in jurisdictions in which Air Products and its affiliates operate; the impact of new financial accounting standards, including the expensing of employee stock options; and the timing and rate at which tax credits can be utilized.