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Air Products to Hike Product Prices

Zacks Equity Research

Leading industrial gas provider Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD) declared that it will globally raise prices of fluorinated gases and other process materials supplied by its Electronics business. The price hike will be effective Jan 1, 2014, or as per the contracts.

The price increase is attributable to higher costs of raw materials such as anhydrous hydrofluoric acid, power and distribution. Air Products expects to recover these costs through this initiative.

Air Products released its fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 (ended Sep 30, 2013) results in Oct 2013. The company posted adjusted earnings from continued operations of $1.47 a share, up 3.5% from the year-ago earnings of $1.42. The results were at par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The adjusted earnings excluded after-tax charges of $164 million (or 77 cents per share) mainly associated with cost reduction and asset and product rationalization actions in the company's Electronics and Merchant Gases businesses, as well as charges for streamlining corporate functions.

Consolidated net income, in the quarter, dipped 1.2% year over year to $137.1 million (or 64 cents a share) from $138.7 million (or 65 cents).

Revenues dropped 0.7% year over year to $2,586.5 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,681 million. The decline was due to lower base volumes and a negative impact resulting from the exit decision of the Polyurethane Intermediates (PUI) business. These were partly compensated by higher energy pass-through and favorable currency translation.

Air Products currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering include Asahi Kasei (AHKSY), Johnson Matthey plc. (JMPLY) and BASF SE (BASFY). While Asahi Kasei and Johnson Matthey carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), BASF holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on BASFY
Read the Full Research Report on APD
Read the Full Research Report on AHKSY
Read the Full Research Report on JMPLY

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