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Air Products Cuts 2012 Forecast on Lower Electronics Growth

Air Products & Chemicals Inc., the world’s largest hydrogen producer, cut its full-year profit forecast on weaker-than-expected economic growth in Asia and Europe and demand for electronics in its most recent quarter.

Earnings per share are expected to be $5.40 to $5.45 in 2012, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement on its website. Air Products had previously predicted $5.47 to $5.60 for the year.

Profitability at the company’s electronics and performance materials unit fell 3.1 percentage points in the third quarter from a year earlier because of pricing pressure, the company said. Air Products, which saw a slowdown in demand in Asia and Europe, has cut costs to offset higher energy expenses and a stronger dollar.

“Economic growth this quarter was below what we expected in Asia, Europe and Electronics,” Chief Executive Officer John McGlade said in the statement. “Despite headwinds from the economy and a stronger dollar, we were able to deliver earnings within expectations due to excellent cost performance.”

Revenue in the third quarter fell 5 percent to $2.34 billion, while operating profit gained 2 percent to $397 million, the company said.

Linde AG of Germany and Air Liquide SA of France will report earnings on July 27 and 30 respectively.

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