Air Products (APD) Announces 5% Hike in Quarterly Dividend - Analyst Blog

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Air Products and Chemicals Inc.APD announced a 5% hike in its quarterly dividend to 81 cents per share from 77 cents. The dividend is payable on May 11, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business as of Apr 1, 2015. This marks the 33rd straight year in which Air Products has increased its dividend payout.

In Mar 2014, the company increased its quarterly dividend by about 8.5% from 71 cents to 77 cents.

In Jan 2015, Air Products posted first-quarter fiscal 2015 (ended Dec. 31, 2014) adjusted earnings of $1.55 a share, up roughly 15.7% from $1.34 a share reported in the year-ago quarter. The results also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.49.

Adjusted earnings exclude one-time items including charges of $21.7 million associated with business restructuring and cost reduction actions and gain on previously held equity interest of $11.2 million.

Net income from continuing operations, as reported, rose roughly 13% to $324.6 million or $1.50 per share in the quarter from $287.1 million or $1.34 per share recorded in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues rose 0.6% year over year to $2,560.8 million driven by higher volumes and pricing but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,676 million.

Underlying sales, barring the company's exit from the Polyurethane Intermediates ("PUI") business, rose 5% year over year. Sales rose on the back of 4% increase in volumes and strength across most segments.

Air Products is keeping a tight control on expenses and undertaking work process improvement initiatives. The company remains on track in delivering on its cost reduction programs, which should support its margins in fiscal 2015.

Air Products currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Better-ranked stocks in the diversified chemical space include Asahi Kasei Corp. AHKSY , Innospec Inc. IOSP and Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. MBII . While Asahi Kasei and Innospec sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Marrone Bio Innovations carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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

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

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