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PPG Industries (PPG) Unveils China Application Innovation Unit

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PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG - Free Report) recently declared the opening of its China Application Innovation Center (“CAIC”) in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, China. This marks the company’s first cross-business research and development center in the region. The center will serve as a bridge between innovation and customer applications for its industrial, packaging and automotive refinish coatings businesses.

The center is adjacent to PPG Industries’ Zhangjiagang manufacturing plant. This location will facilitate quick movement of newly-developed applications to trial production at its Zhangjiagang plant. This will incorporate higher speed to market for the company’s innovations as well as expedite product and service customization.

The center’s advanced, automated equipment and technologies will facilitate PPG Industries to simulate the various environments and climates where the company’s paints and coatings are expected to be applied. This enables PPG Industries’ scientists to test the properties of coating technologies, provide industry-leading color design, and offer consumers more customized, high-quality paint products and solutions for wide-ranging applications.

Shares of PPG Industries have rallied 68.6% in the past year compared with 81.5% rise of the industry.

The company, in its last earnings call, stated that it expects overall global coatings demand to continue to improve in many of its end-use markets and across all of its major regions. The company also expects to gain from volume recovery in its technology-advantaged automotive refinish and aerospace coatings businesses, synergy realization and earnings accretion through integration of recently-announced acquisitions and an eventual inventory restocking in specific industrial end markets.

Factoring in current global economic activities and the near-term economic uncertainty associated with the pandemic, PPG Industries expects total sales volume for the first quarter of 2021 to be flat to modestly higher, differing by business and region. The company also expects to achieve total incremental cost benefits from restructuring measures of $30-$35 million in the first quarter.

The company also sees adjusted earnings for the first quarter to be $1.55-$1.61 per share. The mid-point of this range indicates an increase of more than 20% over the comparable year-ago quarter’s figure of $1.31.


Zacks Rank & Key Picks

PPG Industries currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FSUGY - Free Report) , Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (ASH - Free Report) and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (IMPUY - Free Report) .

Fortescue has a projected earnings growth rate of 107.8% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged 122.9% in a year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank  stocks here.

Ashland has an expected earnings growth rate of 83.2% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have gained 76.2% in the past year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Impala has an expected earnings growth rate of 197.6% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have rallied 264.7% in the past year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

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