) reached a new 52-week high of $202.88 on May 30, above its
previous high of $201.59. Its shares ended the day at $201.61.
The U.S. coatings giant, which has a market cap of roughly $28
billion, has seen its shares shot up roughly 31% over a year.
Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is
What's Driving PPG Up?
PPG Industries' adjusted earnings for first-quarter 2014,
reported on Apr 17, topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Reported
profit jumped on continued strength in the company's coatings
business and its cost management initiatives. Healthy momentum
across aerospace and automotive markets aided the results. PPG
Industries sees favorable market conditions across major
end-markets in 2014.
PPG Industries, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, has a diversified
business, both in terms of products offered and geographical
presence. It has a leading position in several paints and coatings
PPG Industries is taking steps to grow its business
inorganically by making a number of acquisitions. The acquisition
) North American architectural coatings business has reinforced its
branded paint product offerings and scale in the North American
architectural paint market.
PPG Industries also has an impressive record of returning cash
to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. The company,
in Apr 2014, raised its quarterly dividend by 10% to 67 cents per
share. Moreover, its Board authorized the repurchase of shares
worth $2 billion
Moreover, PPG Industries is pursuing a $102 million business
restructuring focused on achieving cost synergies associated with
the North American architectural coatings business takeover. The
company's growth strategies coupled with cost control measures
delivered significant value to its shareholders last year and is
expected to do the same in 2014.
That said, we take into account softness in Europe and a still
challenging demand environment in the region. Some of PPG
Industries' key end-markets such as non-residential construction,
marine coatings and European architectural coatings remain
Other Stocks to Consider
Other companies in the chemical space that are worth considering
Compass Minerals International Inc.
L'Air Liquide SA
). While Compass Minerals has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), L'Air
Liquide has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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