Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE: APD) is gases, chemical and performance materials for industrial uses manufacturer, headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region. The company is the third largest employer in the region, after Lehigh Valley and St. Luke’s hospitals. Founded in 1940 by Leonard Parker Pool, Air Products(APD) has a reputation of being an innovative company with commitment to the environment. In the company’s early years, Pool sold oxygen generators to support the United States military during World War II.
The company serves customers in sectors including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Air Products supplies atmospheric and process gases, equipment and services. Those include oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, performance materials and chemical intermediates.
In its early years, Air Products provided oxygen supply, but its nitrogen applications increased in importance and later invested in chemicals, which opened the door for the company to enter the electronics industry. By late 70s, Air Products became a Fortune 500 company, with $1 billion in sales.
In 2018, for the sixth consecutive year, Air Products fell in Fortune 500 rankings. The company fell to number 345 from 294, based on the 11% decline in revenue which stood at $8.44 billion in 2017.
In 2015, the company announced it will spin off its Materials Technologies division and later renamed the newly formed company Versum Materials. At that time, it also sold its performance materials division to Evonik Industries. Air Products employs 16,000 in 50 countries. The company supplied the liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel for the Space Shuttle External Tank, as part of its collaboration with NASA. Air Products provided the liquid hydrogen used for every Space Shuttle launch as well as for the Mercury and Apollo missions.
The company’s stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker APD. Air Products & Chemicals stock is up 38% year-to-date. APD shares are currently trading around the $220 mark per share.