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Airgas (NYSE:ARG) was upgraded by Zacks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm currently has a $116.00 price target on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 5.37% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are upgrading our recommendation on Airgas from Underperform to Neutral, with a target price of $116.00. This is based on expected benefits from acquisitions, price hikes and recovery in helium position. In first-quarter fiscal 2015, Airgas reported adjusted earnings of $1.18 a share, up 4% year over year. The company expects its refrigerants business to make a slightly favorable contribution to year-over-year earnings per share in fiscal 2015. Moreover Airgas will benefit from the imminent recovery in the non residential construction sector. However, weakness in coal-related business, high interest rates and increased competition also remain concerns.”

A number of other firms have also recently commented on ARG. Analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Airgas in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $115.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $110.00. Analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Airgas in a research note on Wednesday, July 9th. They now have a $126.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $116.00. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $115.82.

Shares of Airgas (NYSE:ARG) traded down 0.06% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $110.02. The stock had a trading volume of 82,536 shares. Airgas has a 1-year low of $99.32 and a 1-year high of $113.16. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $109.3 and its 200-day moving average is $107.5. The company has a market cap of $8.200 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.32.

Airgas (NYSE:ARG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 24th. The company reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.18. The company had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Airgas will post $5.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Tuesday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 11th.

Airgas, Inc is a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products.

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