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Air Products Launches New Defoamers

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Specialty chemical company Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD - Analyst Report) announced that it has introduced its new Airase Structured Siloxane Defoamer Line (SSDL Defoamers). These new defoamers contain seven siloxane defoamers that are designed to deliver optimal performance in water-based formulations compared to conventional defoamers.

The Airase SSDL defoamers have improved pH stability and provide outstanding stability and persistency for coatings and ink formulations. They are also free from hazardous air pollutant (HAP) and alkylphenol ethoxylate (APE) and do not involve volatile organic compounds to formulations.

Therefore, these defoamers are ideally suited for paints and coatings, colorants, inks, adhesives and other industrial applications. Further, they are user friendly and deliver consistent performance allowing the formulators to take a systematic approach to defoamer selection.

Air Products provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology products. Last month, the company released its fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 results. It logged adjusted earnings from continued operations of $1.42 a share for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents.

Consolidated net income, as reported, plunged 57% year over year to $138.7 million or 65 cents a share, pummeled by hefty one-time charges. The company reported a profit of $324.8 million or $1.51 a share a year ago.

Revenues rose 4% to $2,606 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,574 million. The revenue growth was attributable to higher volumes in the Tonnage Gases, Equipment and Energy, and Electronics and Performance Materials divisions as well as sales increases due to acquisitions, partly offset by the impact of unfavorable currency. The company witnessed sluggish manufacturing activity in the quarter.

For fiscal 2012, adjusted earnings of $5.40 a share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.42 but exceeded the year-ago level of $5.36. Sales for the year edged down 1% year over year to $9,612 million, but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,577 million.

For fiscal 2013, Air Products plans to take a number of steps including execution of its new Tonnage investments and sustained improvement in its Electronics and Performance Materials unit to attain better productivity. The company expects that its recent strategic moves will act favorably for future growth and profitability despite the weak macroeconomic backdrop.

The company anticipates earnings between $5.65 and $5.85 per share for fiscal 2013. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, earnings are expected between $1.26 and $1.31 per share. Air Products also expects capital expenditures between $2 billion and $2.2 billion for the year.

Air Products, which competes with Praxair Inc. (PX - Analyst Report), currently holds a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks #4 Rank (Sell) and we have a long-term (more than 6 months) Underperform recommendation on the stock.
 

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