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PPG Industries Buys Remaining Stake in Italian Coatings JV

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PPG Industries (PPG - Free Report) has acquired the remaining 50% ownership interest in PPG Univer S.p.A from its joint venture (JV) partner, Univer Italiana S.r.l. The financial terms of the transaction were not divulged.

PPG Univer makes architectural and liquid industrial coatings and operates a network of 12 retail stores in Italy. It also maintains administrative offices and a production plant in Cavallirio, Italy.

PPG Industries noted that the transaction is a key step in its efforts to strengthen its foothold in Europe and further grow its brands in Italy.

PPG Industries swung to a loss on a reported basis in the third quarter of 2016, hurt by hefty pension settlement charges. Adjusted earnings matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate while sales missed expectations.   

PPG Industries expects a modest improvement in global demand and projects year-over-year earnings growth in fourth-quarter 2016 to be similar or modestly higher than that of the third quarter. It aims to reduce costs, particularly in the end-use markets that are expected to be the weakest, in the fourth quarter. Moreover, the company will continue with growth-related investments.

PPG Industries remains exposed to significant currency headwind. Moreover, the company faces macroeconomic challenges and some of its end-markets including marine still remain sluggish.

PPG Industries currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Other Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked companies in the basic materials space include Innophos Holdings Inc (IPHS - Free Report) , FMC Corp. (FMC - Free Report) and Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) .

Innophos sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has an expected earnings growth of 51.4% for the current year.

FMC has an expected earnings growth of around 14.2% for the current year. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Celanese carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has an expected earnings growth of around 9.4% for the current year.

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