Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) released the results from its second fiscal quarter this morning before opening bell, missing the estimates of analysts in earnings but beating in revenue. The firm reported earnings of $1.32 a share on $2.58 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting the company to report earnings of $1.35 per share on revenue of $2.55 billion.
Bad weather impacts results
The quarter’s earnings per share fell 2% year over year, while revenue rose 4%. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) said the main drivers of higher sales were “higher energy pass-through” and stronger volumes in its Merchant Gases and Electronics and Performance Materials. When excluding the company’s exit from its Polyurethane Intermediates Business, sales rose 2% year over year and declined 1% quarter over quarter.
Operating income was $385 million, a 1% decline year over year. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) reported that bad weather negatively impacted its Merchant Gases, while planned outages had a negative impact on its Tonnage Gases. Those impacts more than offset the positive results from the company’s Electronics and Performance Materials and Equipment and Energy. Operating margin was 14.9%, a decline of 80 basis points as higher costs more than offset higher volumes. Negative weather and “the dilutive effect of higher energy pass-through” also impacted results.
Breaking down Air Products’ earnings
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) reports that sales in its Merchant Gases division were $1.04 billion, a 4% year over year increase. The company said volumes were higher in the U.S. and Canada, Asia, and Latin America. However, they were partially offset by lower helium volumes because of constraints in global supply.
Sales in the company’s Tonnage Gases rose 4% to $840 million. Higher energy pass-through more than offset the company’s lower volumes because of planned outages and impacts of the company’s exit of the polyurethane business.
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) posted $592 million (corrected previous inaccuracy of $492 million) in sales for its Electronics and Performance Materials division, an 8% increase driven by a 9% volume increase. The company reported that Electronics sales rose 6% because of higher sales of delivery systems. Performance Materials sales rose 10% as each product line and region saw growth.
In Equipment and Energy, sales fell 11% to $110 million.
Air Products looks ahead
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) also provided guidance for the next quarter. The company projects earnings to be between $1.42 and $1.47 per share. Air Products believes earnings for the full 2014 fiscal year will be between $5.70 and $5.85 per share. That’s a slight decrease from their previous range of between $5.70 and $5.90 a share. The company expects to spend about $2 billion on capital expenditures.
“Air Products’ momentum will continue to increase as we load assets, win new business and bring projects on-stream,” said Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) Chairman, President, and CEO John McGlade in a statement. “Going forward, we remain focused on continuing to increase productivity and generate benefits from further price and cost actions. We are confident in our ability to deliver strong earnings growth in the second half of this year.”
McGlade announced in September that he will retire as CEO. Activist investor Bill Ackman holds a significant stake in Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) and believes the stock will rise above $200 with the right person at the helm. It’s expected that Ackman could influence who the company chooses to replace McGlade, and analysts have been positive on the company since Ackman got involved.