Reviewing Airgas (NYSE:ARG) & Its Rivals

Airgas (NYSE: ARG) is one of 31 publicly-traded companies in the “Commodity Chemicals” industry, but how does it compare to its competitors? We will compare Airgas to similar companies based on the strength of its profitability, dividends, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

70.6% of shares of all “Commodity Chemicals” companies are held by institutional investors. 7.8% of shares of all “Commodity Chemicals” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Airgas pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Airgas pays out 53.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Commodity Chemicals” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.8% and pay out 52.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Airgas has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years. Airgas lags its competitors as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Airgas and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Airgas 5.98% 15.44% 5.04%
Airgas Competitors -29.43% 24.03% 5.52%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Airgas and its competitors, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Airgas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Airgas Competitors 110 834 1233 37 2.54

As a group, “Commodity Chemicals” companies have a potential downside of 1.14%. Given Airgas’ competitors higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Airgas has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Airgas and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Airgas N/A N/A 31.56
Airgas Competitors $4.01 billion $340.26 million 30.75

Airgas’ competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Airgas. Airgas is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Summary

Airgas competitors beat Airgas on 8 of the 10 factors compared.

Airgas Company Profile

Airgas, Inc. is a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard goods, such as welding equipment and related products. The Company is also a producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice and nitrous oxide and a supplier of safety products, refrigerants, ammonia products and process chemicals. It operates through two segments: Distribution and All Other Operations. The Distribution segment offers a portfolio of related gas and hard goods products and services to the end customers. The All Other Operations segment consists of five business units which manufacture or distribute carbon dioxide, dry ice, nitrous oxide, ammonia and refrigerant gases. It also offers supply chain management services and solutions, and product and process technical support across many customer segments. It markets its products and services through multiple sales channels, including branch-based sales representatives, retail stores and strategic customer account programs, among others.

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