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PPG Opens Battery Pack Application Center in China for EVs

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PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Free Report) unveiled a battery pack application center (BPAC) in Tianjin, China. The $30 million facility has a comprehensive suite of capabilities for testing the application of PPG coatings technologies, materials and systems for electric vehicle (EV) battery packs, allowing customers to speed the development of innovative EV technologies.

The new application center is a significant step forward in the company's efforts to help its customers in China in the EV battery sector. Customers will be able to validate its customized coatings solutions, which help them to lower application costs, boost battery life, range and charging speed, and contribute to occupant safety, at the new facility.

The BPAC will involve application testing for PPG technologies such as powder coatings, fire protection coatings, dielectric coatings, adhesives and sealants, surface pre-treatment, and e-coat technologies. Its modular design will enable independent projects to be carried out concurrently in each of the application areas. This adaptability will enable the development of materials and process solutions for a wide variety of existing and new customers.

The application center exhibits PPG's efforts in R&D and application technologies for EV batteries while also playing an important role in nurturing local talent in Tianjin, the company noted.

Shares of PPG have gained 9.6% over the past year compared with the 4.2% decline of its industry.

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The company, on its first-quarter call, noted that it expects adjusted earnings of $6.95-$7.25 per share for 2023. The prediction excludes amortization expense, non-cash pension settlement charge, benefit from insurance recovery and costs related to earlier approved and communicated business restructuring.

Factoring in current global economic activities, geopolitical issues in Europe and higher interest rates in most developed countries, PPG expects sales volumes in second-quarter 2023 to be flat with the potential for slight improvement or decrease of a low single-digit percentage year over year. Adjusted earnings for the second quarter are projected in the band of $2.05-$2.15.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

PPG currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks to consider in the basic materials space include Koppers Holdings Inc. (KOP - Free Report) , Gold Fields Limited (GFI - Free Report) and Linde plc (LIN - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Koppers’ current-year earnings is currently pegged at $4.40, implying year-over-year growth of 6.3%. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.64%, on average. KOP has gained 12% in a year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Gold Fields’ current-year earnings has been revised 23.5% upward in the past 60 days. The consensus estimate for current-year earnings for GFI is currently pegged at $1.05, indicating year-over-year growth of 8.3%. The company’s shares have gained 63.8% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Linde’s current-year earnings has been revised 3.8% upward in the past 60 days. LIN beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the last four quarters. It delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.9%, on average. The company’s shares have gained 7.2% in the past year.

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