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Air Products Enhances Asia Technology Center Capabilities

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Air Products and Chemicals Inc.  (APD - Free Report) has upgraded the capabilities of its Asia Technology Center in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai, China. The center, armed with state-of-the-art research and development capabilities, will support the fast-paced development of China and Asia markets through its advanced applications technologies.

The center consists of seven laboratories catering to a vast range of high-growth markets in China and across Asia. The upgraded center includes a food laboratory, which helps improve food quality and safety with liquid nitrogen technologies a water laboratory that makes wastewater and water treatment processes more efficient and environmentally-friendly through oxygen and ozone. Also, it has advanced equipment for the welding, combustion, metals processing, industrial cryogenics, and electronics packaging, assembly and testing laboratories.

Being one of the company's key technology centers in the world, the Asia Technology Center has gone through several expansion cycles. It develops and implements sustainable solutions that help in emissions reduction and resource recycling. Moreover, these solutions help in improving energy efficiency, water and air quality, food safety, and healthcare, addressing increasingly stringent environmental regulations and improve the quality of life.

Air Products’ shares have moved up 17% over a year, outperforming the industry’s 11.3% growth.

Air Products, in April, raised its earnings outlook for fiscal 2018 factoring in the expected contribution from the Lu'An syngas project. The company now expects its adjusted earnings to be in the range of $7.25-$7.40 per share (a 15-17% increase from the prior year), up from its earlier view of $7.15-$7.35.

Moreover, the company expects adjusted earnings to be in the band of $1.80 to $1.85 per share for the fiscal third quarter, up 9-12% year over year. It also sees capital expenditure of $1.8-$2 billion for fiscal 2018.

Air Products has a strong project backlog and benefits from actions to cut operational costs. Moreover, strategic investments in high-return projects, new business deals and acquisitions should drive results in fiscal 2018.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Price and Consensus

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

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

Some better-ranked companies in the basic materials space are FMC Corp. (FMC - Free Report) , Celanese Corp. (CE - Free Report) and The Chemours Company (CC - Free Report) . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

FMC Corp has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 16.4%. Its shares have gained around 19.3% over a year.

Celanese has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.9%. Its shares have moved up around 33.7% over a year.

Chemours has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 15.5%. Its shares have gained around 30.1% over a year.

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