PPG Industries: 4Q Caps Off 'Excellent Year'

By Jennifer Booton Industrials FOXBusiness

PPG Industries (PPG) reported fourth-quarter earnings on pace with Wall Street expectations on Monday and said the spin-off of its chemicals business is on track to close within the next two weeks.

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The Pittsburgh-based supplier of protective and decorative coatings revealed record quarterly net income of $227 million, or $1.46 a share, compared with $216 million, or $1.39, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding one-time tax and acquisition charges, PPG earned $1.53, matching average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll. The company also achieved record full-year adjusted EPS of $7.94 and said profit improved in each major global region.

PPG CEO Charles Bunch said the quarter capped off an “exceptional year” for the company, driven by strong operating performance and several major strategic initiatives that he says have accelerated the pace of the company’s transformation.

“We grew our sales and earnings despite moderate overall economic conditions that varied by region and end-use market, and continued negative impacts from currency translation,” he said.

PPG anticipates further acquisition and separation-related costs in the first quarter of 2013 related to the split of its chemical business and merger with a subsidiary of Georgia Gulf, however, it expects to complete the spin-off later this month.

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Revenue for the three-month period was $3.6 billion, up from $3.5 billion a year ago, virtually matching the Street’s view. Sales in the industrial coatings segment grew by 9% to $1.1 billion, while those in the performance coating group ticked up 1% to $1.2 billion.

Looking ahead, PPG said economic trends will remain varied by region in 2013, with solid growth expected in North America and weakness in Europe.