Leadership Change at Airgas

Zacks

Airgas, Inc. (ARG) has announced a change in the leadership of its South Division. Chuck Broadus will join the division as President, effective July 1, reporting to President and CEO of Airgas, Michael Molinini.

Broadus succeeds Mike Rohde, who is retiring after nearly 15 years of dedicated leadership. The veteran also served as Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations at Airgas.

Broadus will be responsible for managing three regions of the South Division which are South, National Welders and Mid America. He currently serves as President of Airgas South region, which covers Georgia, Florida, Alabama, most of Mississippi and southern Tennessee.

Radnor, PA-based Airgas reported adjusted earnings of $4.35 a share in fiscal 2013, up 6% from $4.11 earned in fiscal 2012 and in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues increased 4.5% to $4.96 billion, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Adjusted earnings, however, fell shy of the company’s guidance due to disappointing organic sales growth in the Distribution segment arising from weak volume in both gases and hardgoods, such as welding gear.

Airgas apprehends that results will bear the brunt of the current slow business conditions in the first half of fiscal 2014 and then improve in the latter half. This will lead to low-to-mid single-digit organic sales growth for the full year, with gas and rent outpacing hardgoods.

Airgas, through its subsidiaries, distributes industrial, medical and specialty gases as a well as hardgoods in the U.S. The company also markets its products and services through e-business, catalog and telesales channels.

Airgas currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Celanese Corporation (CE), Methanex Corporation (MEOH) and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (SHECY) belong to the same industry where Airgas operates. Each of them holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Read the Full Research Report on SHECY

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Read the Full Research Report on CE

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