Airgas Increases First Quarter Dividend by 20%

  Airgas Increases First Quarter Dividend by 20%

Business Wire

RADNOR, Pa. -- May 2, 2013

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced that the Board of Directors increased
the quarterly cash dividend on the company's common stock by 20%, from $0.40
per share to $0.48 per share. The dividend will be payable on June 28, 2013 to
shareholders of record as of June 14, 2013.

“Despite the soft economy, we delivered record adjusted earnings per diluted
share* of $4.35 in fiscal 2013, up 6% over the prior year, and we are
expecting EPS growth of 15% to 23% in fiscal year 2014,” said Airgas Executive
Chairman Peter McCausland. “Strong cash flow continues to be a hallmark of the
Airgas business model, and our confidence in Airgas’ long-term prospects and
financial stability enables us to increase the dividend while continuing to
fund our growth strategies.”

* See attached reconciliations and computations of non-GAAP adjusted earnings
per diluted share.

About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s
leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods,
such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S.
producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading
producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest
U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of
refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000
employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail
stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and
distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through
e-Business, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong
local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For
more information, please visit www.airgas.com.

This press release contains statements that are forward looking, as that term
is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the
SEC in its rules, regulations and releases. These statements include, but are
not limited to: our expectation of 15% to 23% EPS growth in fiscal year 2014.
Forward-looking statements also include any statement that is not based on
historical fact, including statements containing the words "believes," "may,"
"plans," "will," "could," "should," "estimates," "continues," "anticipates,"
"intends," "expects," and similar expressions. We intend that such
forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All
forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding
important risk factors and should not be regarded as a representation by us or
any other person that the results expressed therein will be achieved. Airgas
assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for
any reason, except as required by law. Important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those contained in any
forward-looking statement include: continued or increased disruption in our
helium supply chain; impacts of the EPA ruling related to the production of
R-22; the impact of compliance with the Montreal Protocol; adverse changes in
customer buying patterns resulting from deterioration in current economic
conditions; weakening in the operating and financial performance of our
customers, which could negatively impact our sales and our ability to collect
our accounts receivable; postponement of projects due to economic
developments; customer acceptance of price increases; our ability to achieve
anticipated acquisition synergies; supply cost pressures; increased industry
competition; our ability to successfully identify, consummate, and integrate
acquisitions; our continued ability to access credit markets on satisfactory
terms; significant fluctuations in interest rates; increases in energy costs
and other operating expenses eroding planned cost savings; higher than
expected implementation costs of the SAP system; conversion or implementation
problems related to the SAP system that disrupt our business and negatively
impact customer relationships; our ability to achieve anticipated benefits
enabled by our conversion to the SAP system; higher than expected costs
related to our Business Support Center transition; the impact of tightened
credit markets on our customers; the impact of changes in tax and fiscal
policies and laws; the potential for increased expenditures relating to
compliance with environmental regulatory initiatives; the impact of new
environmental, healthcare, tax, accounting, and other regulation; the economic
recovery in the U.S.; the effect of catastrophic events; political and
economic uncertainties associated with current world events; and other factors
described in the Company's reports, including its March 31, 2012 Form 10-K,
subsequent Forms 10-Q, and other Forms filed by the Company with the SEC.

                                                                  
Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures (Unaudited)
Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share
Reconciliations of adjusted earnings per diluted share:
                                                                     
                                                         Year Ended
                                                         March 31,
                                                          2013      2012  
Earnings per diluted share                               $ 4.35      $ 4.00
Restructuring and other special charges, net               0.07        0.19
Gain on sale of businesses                                 (0.07 )     -
Costs (benefits) related to unsolicited takeover           -           (0.06 )
attempt
Multi-employer pension plan withdrawal charges             -           0.04
Income tax benefits                                       -         (0.06 )
Adjusted earnings per diluted share                      $ 4.35     $ 4.11  
                                                                             

The Company believes its adjusted earnings per diluted share financial measure
provides investors meaningful insight into its earnings performance without
the impact of Business Support Center restructuring and other special charges,
net, the gain on the sale of businesses, costs (benefits) related to Air
Products’ unsolicited takeover attempt, multi-employer pension plan withdrawal
charges, and income tax benefits related to the LLC reorganization and foreign
tax liability true-up. Non-GAAP financial measures should be read in
conjunction with GAAP financial measures, as non-GAAP financial measures are
merely a supplement to, and not a replacement for, GAAP financial measures. It
should also be noted that the Company’s adjusted earnings per diluted share
financial measure may be different from adjusted earnings per diluted share
financial measures provided by other companies.

Contact:

Airgas, Inc.
Investor Contact:
Barry Strzelec, 610-902-6256
barry.strzelec@airgas.com
or
Media Contact:
Doug Sherman, 610-902-6270
doug.sherman@airgas.com
 
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