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Air Products 1Q results top analysts' expectations

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Air Products, which sells gases, chemicals and other equipment to industrial customers, said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income climbed 12 percent, with sales rising across its business segments.

The company's results beat Wall Street's expectations, and Air Products boosted its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast.

The company, based in Allentown, Pa., earned $278.3 million, or $1.31 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with $248.1 million, or $1.16 per share, in the prior-year period.

Earnings from continuing operations were $1.30 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1.29 per share.

Revenue increased 10 percent to $2.56 billion from $2.32 billion, driven by acquisitions and higher volumes in tonnage gases. Wall Street forecast $2.48 billion.

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said that sales of tonnage gases, merchant gases, electronics and performance materials and equipment and energy all climbed.

For fiscal 2013, the company now projects earnings between $5.70 and $5.90 per share. Its prior outlook was for earnings between $5.65 and $5.85 per share. Analysts had expected $5.74 per share.

Air Products foresees second-quarter earnings between $1.34 and $1.39 per share. Wall Street had predicted $1.39.