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Airgas (ARG) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Airgas, Inc. ARG is scheduled to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 12. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 1.04%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.



Factors to Consider

Airgas is moving ahead with its planned merger with Air Liquide. This will create the largest industrial gas company in the world, once the necessary approvals have been obtained. The acquisition represents significant value for shareholders of both companies.

Further, Airgas remains focused on leveraging its infrastructure, managing expenses, expanding its telesales business, enhancing the e-business platform and developing the regional management structure to augment sales growth. The company also continues to work on a number of process improvements and operating efficiency initiatives to enhance customer service offerings. These actions will drive near-term growth.

However, Airgas’ results continue to bear the brunt of a challenging industrial economy. Moreover, falling oil prices, unfavorable currency and high debt levels remain concerns.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Airgas is likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case here as elaborated below.

Zacks ESP: Airgas’ Earnings ESP is 0.00%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate both stand at $1.24.

Zacks Rank: Airgas has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Coeur Mining, Inc. CDE has an Earnings ESP of +50.00% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Orion Engineered Carbons SA OEC has an Earnings ESP of +15.15% and a Zacks Rank #3.

FMC Corp. FMC has an Earnings ESP of +1.52% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
AIRGAS INC (ARG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FMC CORP (FMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ORION ENGINRD (OEC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COEUR MINING (CDE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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