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Coatings giant PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Analyst Report) has introduced a new clearcoat- MC 2800 EUROPLUS Speed Clear- to its line of OMNI Plus products. It is a 4.2 VOC (volatile organic compound) high-solids clearcoat that is designed to meet the performance and value priorities of its consumers. The company stated that the product provides excellent gloss and appearance while complying with National Rule. It also has a fast cycle time.

The new product promises fast dry times, high productivity, and exceptional finish at a reasonable price. This makes it a value-based product, providing high customer satisfaction and increased efficiency in repair shops.

According to Jennifer Boros, PPG’s segment manager, MC 2800 is easy and flexible to use and adjusts to production conditions.

The Omni Plus range is an extension of the Omni basecoat system and consists of high-strength toners, special-effect diamond toners, a basecoat converter and a mixing clear. All these increase the performance of the Omni line of products.

PPG Industries remains focused on growing its business inorganically through a number of acquisitions. The buyout of Akzo Nobel’s (AKZOY) North American architectural coatings business – the second-largest acquisition in the company’s history – has expanded its branded paint product offerings and scale in the North American architectural paint market, which is expected to benefit from a recovery in the construction market.

In a major move, PPG Industries recently agreed to buy Mexico’s leading paint company – Consorcio Comex S.A. de C.V. – for $2.3 billion. The acquisition will bolster its architectural coatings business in Mexico and Central America.

Demand for PPG’s aerospace and auto OEM coatings are expected to remain strong this year. The company has a diversified product base and looks to grow its businesses strategically along with controlling costs. It should gain from continued strength across North American automotive and aerospace markets.  

Healthy fundamentals, strong acquisitions, cost controlling measures and product innovations are expected to increase PPG’s sales and profit margins in the forthcoming quarters. However, the company remains exposed to a still soft European market, raw material cost pressure and currency headwinds.  

PPG Industries currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical space worth considering are Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) and Ashland Inc. (ASH - Snapshot Report). Both currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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