Airgas (NYSE: ARG) is one of 33 public companies in the “Commodity Chemicals” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare Airgas to related businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings and risk.

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 47.6% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Airgas has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years. Airgas lags its rivals as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Airgas and its rivals’ 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 -29.50% 24.34% 5.63%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Airgas and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Airgas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Airgas Competitors 106 832 1224 35 2.54

As a group, “Commodity Chemicals” companies have a potential upside of 2.36%. Given Airgas’ rivals higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Airgas has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.8% of shares of all “Commodity Chemicals” companies are held by institutional investors. 7.8% of shares of all “Commodity Chemicals” companies are held by company 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Airgas and its rivals top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
Airgas N/A N/A 31.56
Airgas Competitors $4.01 billion $340.26 million 122.07

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

Summary

Airgas rivals beat Airgas on 8 of the 9 factors compared.

About Airgas

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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