* Fiscal Q4 adj EPS $1.42 vs. Street forecast $1.43
* Revenue up 4 percent to $2.61 bln; beats Street
* Forecasts fiscal Q1 below Street's expectations
* CFO Paul Huck to retire in February
By Ernest Scheyder
Oct 19 Air Products & Chemicals Inc's
quarterly profit narrowly missed expectations, partly due to
weak demand for a solar product, and the industrial gas producer
said Friday that its chief financial officer will retire.
The glut of supply affecting the global solar market is
denting sales of silane, an industrial gas used to help apply
silicon to glass inside solar panels.
Air Products recorded a $127 million, after-tax charge
during the quarter as it canceled a silane supply agreement.
Across the industry, supply should exceed demand "for the
foreseeable future," the company said.
The charge dented quarterly earnings by 59 cents per share.
Seeking to reassure Wall Street, Chief Executive John
McGlade said he will focus on improving the unit selling the
silane gas and other products to electronics customers.
McGlade, though, expects Air Products to earn $1.26 per
share to $1.31 per share for the October-through-December
quarter, below the $1.37 analysts have expected.
"We are starting our 2013 fiscal year with weak economic
momentum worldwide," McGlade said in a statement. "Our focus
will be on taking actions in the areas that we believe can have
the greatest impact on improving margins and returns."
For the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, the company posted
net income of $138.7 million, or 64 cents per share, compared
with $324.8 million, or $1.51 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding the solar-related charge and other one-time items,
Air Products earned $1.42 during the period.
By that measure, analysts had expected earnings of $1.43 per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 4 percent to $2.61 billion. Analysts had
expected $2.51 billion in revenue.
CFO Paul Huck, 62, will retire on Feb. 28 and be replaced by
Scott Crocco. Huck has been with Air Products for 33 years.
Crocco, 48, is currently the company's controller.
Shares of Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Air Products have
slipped 3.5 percent in the past 6 months, closing Thursday at