), the supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases and
hardgoods, is slated to report first-quarter fiscal 2015 results
before the market opens on Jul 24. In the last quarter it posted a
negative surprise of 4.17%. Let's see how things are shaping up for
Factors Influencing this Quarter
Following the fourth quarter earnings announcement, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate for 2015 had undergone sharp downward revisions.
Airgas had reported adjusted earnings of $1.15 per share. Earnings
edged up 1% year over year, but fell short of the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.19 per share as well as management's earnings
guidance of $1.18-$1.23 per share
Airgas expects earnings per share in the range of $1.15 to $1.20
for the first quarter of fiscal 2015, which reflects an increase of
1% to 5% compared with prior-year earnings of $1.14 per share. The
company expects organic sales growth in low single digits for the
Among the challenges faced by the company is the helium supply
constraint encountered by the global industrial gas industry.
During fiscal 2013, Airgas' helium suppliers continued to fall
short of their volume commitments and the company expects some
level of supply chain disruption during fiscal 2015 as well.
Moreover weak public construction spending remains the most
alarming risk to non-residential recovery, particularly in the
light of further government spending cuts. This pose as a headwind
for Airgas making expected recovery in the non-residential market
Our proven model does not conclusively show that Airgas is
likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a
stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank
#1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here, as you
will see below.
Airgas has an Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) of 0.00%.
This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.18 per
share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate resulting in 0.00%
Zacks Rank #4 (Sell):
Airgas has a Zacks Rank #4 which when combined with a 0.00% ESP
makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with
Zacks Rank #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings
announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative
Stocks that Warrant a Look
Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our
model shows that these have the right combination of elements to
post an earnings surprise:
) has an earnings ESP of +0.92% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
) with an Earnings ESP of +0.71% holds a Zacks Rank #3.
LyondellBasell Industries NV
) has an Earnings ESP of +3.13% and a Zacks Rank #2
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
AIRGAS INC (ARG): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALBEMARLE CORP (ALB): Free Stock Analysis
CELANESE CP-A (CE): Free Stock Analysis Report
LYONDELLBASEL-A (LYB): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.