Double-digit earnings growth for Airgas, Ametek and more

It's earnings, earnings, and more earnings on this Thursday.

Radnor-based Airgas said net sales for its third quarter rose 12 percent to $1.15B. Net earnings for industrial and medical gas distributor rose strongly to $72.3M, or 93 cents per share, from $55.8M, or 65 cents per share.

Sales and profits were also up sharply for Carpenter Technology. Q2 net sales for the maker of specialty steels and other alloys were $431.1M vs. $375.6M for the same quarter in 2010. Net income was $23.6M, or 52 cents per share, compared with $9.3M, or 21 cents per share.

Another local industrial company, Ametek, said it established company records for sales, operating income, operating margins, and earnings per share. (Notice a theme to these results today?) The Berwyn company said Q4 sales were up 13 percent to $762.8M. Net income was up 25 percent to $101.9M, or 63 cents per share.

I guess to celebrate its great quarter, Ametek went out and bought another company, acquiring St. Louis, Mo.-based O'Brien, a maker of fluid and gas handling equipment, for about $175M.

Even a local bank has some cheery news. Beneficial Mutual Bancorp bounced to a profit from a loss in Q4 2010. The Philadelphia bank holding company had net income of $5.9M compared with a net loss of $356,000.

Still, some companies hit some turbulence in the quarter. Lockheed Martin saw Q4 sales fall 5 percent to $12.2B from $12.8B for the same quarter a year ago. Net earnings were $683M, or $2.09 per share, for Q4, down from $961M, or $2.67 per share, from the same quarter in 2010. But the defense contractor with more than 10,000 employees in the Philadelphia region said that nearly $20B in orders also raised its backlog to about $81B.

Valley Forge-based AmerisourceBergen eked out a 2.4 percent increase in revenue to $20.4B for its first quarter. Net income blipped up 1 percent to $162.1M, or 62 cents per share. Sure sounds better than declines, but analysts apparently had expected a bit more from the wholesale drug distributor. A Thomson Reuters survey of analysts was looking for 63 cents per share.