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Air Products & Chemicals Inc. Message Board

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  • not sure if this is some kind of signing bonus, or make-whole thing. It's something close to $5MM, on his first day of work. Somehow, I just don't feel good about this kind of thing.

  • Reply to

    APD Culture Needs To Change

    by rational_investor69 Jul 23, 2014 5:30 PM

    He sounds like an egotist to me. He speaks even before he has investigated what needs to be done and how.
    I worked at a medical device co where the new CEO came in made rediculous changes before he investigated, most of the good producers either left or were fired and the co went downhill fast and the ceo was fired after 2 years on the job.
    Good CEo's study, investigate do not "talk" a good game and make slow deliberate changes and notice the effects before they open their mouths about what needs to be done,
    As Ted Turner once said a fish doesn't get into trouble untill it opens its mouth.
    That isn't to say some changes are indicated but produce first, talk later.

  • Reply to

    APD Culture Needs To Change

    by rational_investor69 Jul 23, 2014 5:30 PM

    dunrovin.....be patient., my instincts tell me it'll come. Maybe not everyone on the list of the weakest, but enough to make a difference.

  • Reply to

    APD Culture Needs To Change

    by rational_investor69 Jul 23, 2014 5:30 PM

    rational_investor.......I agree, Mr. Ghasemi's remarks struck me as refreshingly better than his predecessors. APD has long been a company filled with far more than its share of very, very good people, poorly led, and with decision-making far too concentrated at the top. You note....."it seems the top levels at APD have been over-political, over paid, and operated with an exclusive club type feel". Yep.....been that way for several decades. Not too different than the affliction that plagued once great companies like Bethlehem Steel or GM.
    Ghasemi also seems to recognize he needs to articulate a "strategy" for the company and what it wants to be. Long overdue. Another plus for the man. I believe he said that'd be coming by the end of their fiscal year in September......I can't wait to hear what he'll say.
    Not entirely sure why there was such a frantic rush to buy APD yesterday....over 4MM shares traded. Perhaps one of those "Hope and Change" things in the corporate world.
    I remain optimistic about Ghasemi and the impact he can have. Note too that a new Lead Director of the Board has been named.......maybe another step toward building the alliances of like-minded people he'll need to finally right this ship.

  • Reply to

    APD Culture Needs To Change

    by rational_investor69 Jul 23, 2014 5:30 PM

    Amen, rational. I know he's still finding his feet, but I would like to see him clean house at the top sooner than later.

    Sentiment: Hold

  • The new CEO is saying some right things. The challenge is, can he walk the talk? To change its culture this company needs to become infected with the idea that it's not the best in the industry and it needs to get back to doing the basics very well. Culture change is notoriously hard, from reviews it seems the top levels at APD have been over political, overpaid and operated with an exclusive club type feel. The new CEO probably has many 'friends' and 'trustees' who are really anything but that right now.

    Sentiment: Hold

  • I wouldn't hold my breath on this one.......but I'd hang on to APD anyway.

  • google it...
    And we use Municipal wastewater treatment plants (up and running now in Ca.) to produce 3 (three) value streams of Hydrogen, Electricity and Heat all from a human waste!!! Wow what a business this is going to become. Huge opportunity in my opinion... Hold on to APD!!!

  • Reply to

    Great Co, just not a great price

    by mike5885 Jul 8, 2014 3:07 PM

    Mike.....some may argue "the industry" is the allure and it's more likable than the company given APD could be viewed as a fixer-upper and clear under-achiever. Ackman may disagree with you to some extent about liking the management since seeking a new CEO seemed to be a first order of business. One would think the current price reflects market optimism that new leadership will improve peformance by re-shaping and redireciting the entire enterprise.
    Personally, I'm with Ackman..... there should be more upside than downside.

    What do you see as your buy-in price? Just wondering how to interpret "sadly, much lower".

  • Like the mgt, like the co, esp the new CEO, but looking at the sustainable growth rate, the company is 2.5-3x in my estimation, just my opinion, but not anywhere close to my entry or holding criteria

    they can do buybacks and do div increases, but not going to justify the PEG here

    I will be waiting lower to get in, sadly much lower

    and again, I really like the co, not the price

  • Reply to

    The new CEO starts tomorrow.....

    by thekotter Jun 30, 2014 1:50 PM

    Ditto. This company lost ground to its competitors under the recently departed CEO. It'll be interesting to see how the new CEO will reposition this company to gain ground and grow again. The company has some great assets that need to be put to better use and some assets that belong elsewhere.

  • Reply to

    The new CEO starts tomorrow.....

    by thekotter Jun 30, 2014 1:50 PM

    Yes indeed, he will have had enough time from being on the board and in the CEO slot to make an assessment and determine future path. If he misses the opportunity to show the path to a different level of performance for the company, he will already be lame duck material. Not easy, all eyes are on him now, but that's why he gets the $. The low hanging fruit is a very significant restructuring with major operating cost reductions, much easier than selling businesses or acquiring or merging with new ones. I'm sure he has his marching orders!

  • it'll be interesting to hear what he has to say in the earnings call on July 23rd. Could be his litmus test.

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    OK, I agree that Air Products management has been to tax management as Mickey Mantle was to baseball.

    Note 22. Income Taxes [from 2013-10-K filing]

    APD effective tax rate:
    2013-22.8%
    2012-21.9%
    2011-24.3%

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    Better hope he is not Dunlap in disguise !

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    Not likely. APD does a great job of lowering its effective tax rate through foreign dividend planning. Read the tax footnote.

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    Do you think Mr. Seifi is going to redomicile APD out of the United States? A corporate inversion, to lower the corporate tax rate, would require the presence of another company, similar to Air Products, in Europe. or Canada which could be merged with APD.

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    Right on, puzzled. It's funny because both apd and rockwood are core holdings of mine. I noticed company news on roc first thing this am and got pissed off till I saw where he was going. Seifi is the real deal. He did everything he set out to do at roc. Most entertaining ceo you'll ever listen to on a conference call.

  • Reply to

    New CEO

    by rational_investor69 Jun 18, 2014 1:43 PM

    New CEO is a star. He is 69 years old, not 68, according to the proxy filing. At Rockwood, he focused on maximizing value per share, not growing the business just for the sake of empire building. He likes rising dividends, buybacks, and minimizes long-term debt, He liquidated seven. underperforming divisions, and realized cash for them far in excess of book value, and used the money to pay down long term debt.

    Rockwood presently has a market cap of $5 billion. Here is the shareholder equity for ROC:

    2013-$3.04 billion
    2012-1.87
    2011-1.65
    2010-1.34
    2009-1.14
    2008-1.14

    I'm pretty sure at APD he will be liquidating divisions, paying down debt, and returning cash to shareholders. Shareholders will become rich.

  • Interesting choice after so long. It certainly doesn't look like the product of an exhaustive process of narrowing down from a range of candidates, more like 'settling' or 'Plan 'B'". Likely the plan is that this guy is the 'fixer' to execute Pershing's strategy for relatively short term gains and pump the stock, then get out with a 200% return in 5 years. The issue is, what is that plan? Often the mistake made by outsiders is to think that industrial gas companies are specialty chemical companies, which ignores the dynamics of oligopoly competition in the supply of commodities under long term supply contracts, when in fact they are their own 'animal'. Guessing the new guy has to shoot for significant cost reductions almost immediately, not a great time to be an employee in any of the 'out sourcable' or non-essential support services, long term R&D or long time poorly performing business areas.

APD
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