Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania

Air Products Reports Strong Fiscal 2018 Second Quarter Results; GAAP EPS Up 36 Percent and Adjusted EPS Up 20 Percent over Prior Year

Q2 FY18 (all from continuing operations):

  • GAAP EPS of $1.89, up 36 percent from the prior year; GAAP net income of $416 million
  • Adjusted EPS of $1.71*, up 20 percent versus prior year
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin of 34.3 percent*, up 140 basis points versus prior year

Highlights

  • Expect to close on $1.3 billion Lu'An syngas supply joint venture in fiscal 2018 third quarter, onstream in phases
  • Awarded industrial gases supply to Samsung Electronics' second 3D V-NAND Fab in Western China
  • Signed agreement to purchase largest carbon dioxide business in Continental Europe, ACP Europe SA 

Guidance

  • Increased fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS guidance to $7.25 to $7.40 per share, now up 15 to 17 percent over prior year. This increase is due in part to the expected contribution from the Lu'An project. Fiscal 2018 third quarter adjusted EPS guidance of $1.80 to $1.85 per share, up nine to 12 percent over fiscal 2017 third quarter.
  • Including the Lu'An project, expected fiscal year 2018 capital spending of $1.8 to $2.0 billion

*The results and guidance in this release, including in the highlights above, include references to non-GAAP continuing operations measures. These exclude discontinued operations and are identified by the word “adjusted” preceding the measure. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results can be found below.

Air Products (NYSE: APD) today reported GAAP net income from continuing operations of $416 million and GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations of $1.89, up 37 and 36 percent, respectively from the prior year, for its fiscal second quarter ended March 31, 2018. These results include an income tax benefit of $0.18 EPS due to the restructuring of select foreign subsidiaries. 

For the quarter, on a non-GAAP basis, adjusted net income from continuing operations of $378 million and diluted adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $1.71 both increased 20 percent over prior year. 

Second quarter sales of $2.2 billion increased nine percent from the prior year on four percent higher volumes and five percent favorable currency. Volumes were higher in all three Industrial Gas regions, partially offset by lower activity from the Jazan project in Saudi Arabia. Pricing increased one percent, driven primarily by the China merchant business.

For the quarter, adjusted EBITDA of $739 million increased 13 percent over the prior year, driven by the higher volumes, positive pricing and favorable currency. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 34.3 percent increased 140 basis points over the prior year, primarily on the higher volumes. 

Commenting on the results, Seifi Ghasemi, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “Our talented and committed Air Products team delivered another strong quarter, further improving safety performance and financial results. Adjusted EPS of $1.71 increased 20 percent over prior year, our 16th consecutive quarter of year-on-year adjusted EPS growth. We also continued to generate a significant amount of investable cash. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 34.3 percent shows our people are continuing to focus on delivering strong operating performance while successfully winning new growth opportunities," he said.

Second Quarter Results by Business Segment

  • Industrial Gases – Americas sales of $913 million increased three percent over prior year, driven by higher hydrogen and merchant gases volumes. Adjusted EBITDA of $362 million increased three percent over the prior year, primarily driven by the higher volumes.
  • Industrial Gases – EMEA sales of $562 million increased 36 percent over prior year, driven by 20 percent higher volumes, 15 percent favorable currency and one percent favorable pricing. The higher volumes were primarily from the new hydrogen plant in India; merchant volumes also contributed positively. Adjusted EBITDA of $179 million increased 29 percent over the prior year on the higher volumes, pricing and currency. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 31.8 percent decreased 160 basis points from the prior year; excluding the India plant, which has comparatively high natural gas costs, adjusted EBITDA margin was up slightly compared to prior year.

  • Industrial Gases – Asia sales of $558 million increased 28 percent over prior year, driven by 17 percent higher volumes from new plants and base business growth, eight percent favorable currency, and three percent higher pricing. Adjusted EBITDA of $227 million increased 30 percent on the strong volumes, favorable currency and higher pricing. 

Outlook

Ghasemi said, “Our team's performance continues to have us operating from a position of great strength. Air Products people around the world are working hard, every day, to drive our safety, productivity and operational performance higher. In addition, our very strong balance sheet and cash flow position mean we have the capability to invest at least $13 billion over the next five years in many growth opportunities we see, including acquisitions, asset buybacks and large projects. Our absolute focus on these two areas -- delivering operational excellence and strategically deploying capital for growth -- are our playbook for continuing to create value for our customers and shareholders."

Increasing guidance for fiscal 2018, Air Products now expects full-year adjusted EPS of $7.25 to $7.40 per share, up 15 to 17 percent over prior year. For the fiscal 2018 third quarter, Air Products expects adjusted EPS of $1.80 to $1.85 per share, up nine to 12 percent over the fiscal 2017 third quarter.

Including the Lu'An project, the capital expenditure forecast for fiscal year 2018 now is expected to be in the range of $1.8 to $2.0 billion on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis.

Management has provided adjusted EPS and adjusted tax rate guidance on a continuing operations basis. While Air Products might have additional impacts from the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act adopted in late 2017, or incur additional costs for items such as cost reduction actions and pension settlements in future periods, it is not possible, without unreasonable efforts, to identify the amount or significance of these events or the potential for other transactions that may impact future GAAP EPS or the effective tax rate. Management does not believe these items to be representative of underlying business performance. Accordingly, management is unable to reconcile, without unreasonable effort, the Company’s forecasted range of adjusted EPS or the impact of the adjusted tax rate to a comparable GAAP range.

Earnings Teleconference
Access the Q2 earnings teleconference scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on April 26 by calling (323) 794-2551 and entering passcode 6702758, or access the Event Details page on Air Products’ Investor Relations web site.

View entire earnings release with all financial tables.