Linde posts Q1 2024 adjusted operating profit at US$ 2.3 billion

Linde posts Q1 2024 adjusted operating profit at US$ 2.3 billion

Sales $8.1 billion, down 1%, underlying sales up 1%

  • By ICN Bureau | May 03, 2024

Linde reported first-quarter 2024 net income of US$ 1.6 billion and diluted earnings per share of US$ 3.35, up 7% and 9% respectively.  Excluding Linde AG purchase accounting impacts and other charges, adjusted net income was US$ 1.8 billion, up 8% versus prior year.  Adjusted earnings per share was $3.75, 10% above prior year.

Linde’s sales for the first quarter were US$ 8.1 billion, down 1% versus prior year.  Compared to prior year, underlying sales increased 1% from 2% price attainment partially offset by 1% lower volumes largely driven by the manufacturing end market. 

First-quarter operating profit was US$ 2 billion.  Adjusted operating profit of US$ 2.3 billion was up 6% versus prior year led by higher price and continued productivity initiatives across all segments.  Adjusted operating profit margin of 28.9% was 200 basis points above prior year and 130 basis points higher when excluding the effects of cost pass-through.

First-quarter operating cash flow of US$1.9 billion increased 2% versus prior year.  After capital expenditures of US$ 1.04 billion, free cash flow was US$ 906 million.  During the quarter, the company returned US$ 1.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases, net of issuances.

Commenting on the financial results and business outlook, Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Lamba said, “I’m proud of how the Linde team continues to deliver high-quality results despite economic headwinds.  We had another strong quarter, growing EPS 10%, ROC to 25.6% and expanding operating margins 200 basis points, reaching 28.9%. These results demonstrate the resiliency of our integrated industrial gas model through optimizing our network density, all while developing high-quality growth opportunities.”

Lamba continued, “Despite the uncertain economic environment, I remain confident in our ability to continue to create shareholder value through our proven operating model.”

For the second quarter of 2024, Linde expects adjusted diluted earnings per share in the range of $3.70 to $3.80, up 4% to 6% versus prior-year quarter or 5% to 7% when excluding 1% of estimated currency headwind.

For the full year 2024, the company expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $15.30 to $15.60, up 8% to 10% versus prior year or 9% to 11% when excluding 1% of estimated currency headwind.  Full-year capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of US$ 4.0 billion to US$ 4.5 billion to support growth and maintenance requirements including the US$ 4.9 billion contractual sale of gas project backlog.

Linde Engineering sales were US$ 539 million, flat versus prior year, and operating profit was US$ 100 million or 18.6% of sales.  Order intake for the quarter was US$ 364 million and third-party sale of equipment backlog was US$ 3.4 billion.

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