Air Products shares hit all-time high with CEO appointment

|About: Air Products and Chemicals,... (APD)|By:, SA News Editor

Air Products & Chemicals (APD) reached a record high today after it hired away Rockwood (ROC) CEO Seifi Ghasemi to run the company, and investors were thrilled since the hiring could signal that APD may be open to divestitures, according to Oppenheimer analyst Edward Yang.

Under Ghasemi, ROC recently sold its ceramics business and is in the process of selling its paint pigment unit to Huntsman; although APD has not expressed plans to divest any of its businesses, investors have questioned whether APD should sell its volatile electronics business (~17% of sales), which is more cyclical than its core industrial gases business.

SunTrust analyst James Sheehan, however, thinks divesture may not be as large a part of Ghasemi's strategy as it was at ROC; at APC, the focus will be more about operational execution and spending discipline.