Air Products Hikes Dividend - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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Air Products and Chemicals Inc. ( APD ) has announced an 8.5% hike in its quarterly dividend to 77 cents per share from 71 cents per share. The dividend is payable on May 12, 2014, to shareholders of record as of April 1, 2014.

In March 2013, the company increased its quarterly dividend by almost 11% to 71 cents per share from 64 cents.

Air Products saw higher profit in first-quarter fiscal 2014 (ended Dec 31, 2013), reported on Jan 28, on its cost reduction initiatives. The industrial gas giant registered earnings from continuing operations of $1.34 a share in the quarter, up 3% from the year-ago earnings of $1.30. The results beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Consolidated net income rose 4% year over year to $290.2 million (or $1.35 a share) from $278.3 million (or $1.31 a share) a year ago.
Revenues, however, declined 0.7% year over year to $2,545.5 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,562 million. The decline was due to lower volumes and flat pricing, which were partly offset by higher energy pass-through. Underlying sales, barring the company's exit from the Polyurethane Intermediates (PUI) business, fell 1%.

Air Products reaffirmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2014 and anticipates earnings from continuing operations to be in the range of $5.70 and $5.90 per share. For the second quarter, earnings from continuing operations are expected in the band of $1.32 to $1.37 per share.

Air Products currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other better-ranked stocks in the chemical industry include PPG Industries Inc. ( PPG ), Cytec Industries Inc. ( CYT ) and The Dow Chemical Company ( DOW ), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

AIR PRODS & CHE (APD): Free Stock Analysis Report

CYTEC INDS INC (CYT): Free Stock Analysis Report

DOW CHEMICAL (DOW): Free Stock Analysis Report

PPG INDS INC (PPG): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: PUI , APD , CYT , DOW , PPG

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