PPG Industries Inc. (PPG - Free Report) delivered net income from continuing operations of $295 million or $1.23 per share in fourth-quarter 2019, up from the year-ago quarter’s profit of $256 million or $1.07.
Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings were $1.31 per share in the reported quarter, up 13.9% from $1.15 logged in the year-ago quarter. However, the figure trailed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.35.
Net sales inched up 0.7% year over year to $3,672 million. The figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,662.2 million. Unfavorable currency swings affected net sales by around 1%. The company recorded net sales growth in constant currencies of about 2% on a year-over-year basis, supported by a rise in selling prices of nearly 2%. Sales volumes fell nearly 3% year over year.
In 2019, the company posted profits from continuing operations of $1,243 million or $5.22 per share, down from $1,323 or $5.40 in 2018. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) for the year came in at $6.22, up around 5% from $5.92 a year ago.
PPG Industries generated revenues of $15,146 million in 2019, down 1.5% from $15,374 million in 2018. Unfavorable foreign currency translation negatively impacted sales by around 3%. Organic sales fell nearly 1%.
Performance Coatings: Net sales in the segment amounted to nearly $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, up 2% year over year. Sales volume in the segment was relatively flat on a year-over-year basis. Unfavorable foreign currency translation lowered net sales by less than 1%.
Segment income rose 17.6% year over year to $307 million. The benefits of cost management and higher selling prices were partly offset by general cost inflation.
Industrial Coatings: Sales in the segment totaled nearly $1.5 billion, down 1% from the prior-year quarter’s tally. The benefits of higher selling prices were offset by 6% decline in sales volume. Also, unfavorable foreign currency translation lowered sales by around 1% on a year-over-year basis.
Net income in the segment totaled $203 million, up around 9% year over year. Better selling prices, acquisition-related income and strong cost management actions were partly offset by reduced sales volumes as well as general cost inflation. Unfavorable currency impact was $2 million.
PPG Industries ended 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $1.2 billion, up around 34.8% year over year. Long-term debt rose around 4% year over year to $4,539 million.
For 2019, the company has returned around $800 million to shareholders, which includes roughly $325 million of share repurchases and nearly $470 million in dividends.
Going forward, PPG Industries expects organic growth to continue in the Performance Coatings unit in 2020. For the Industrial Coatings unit, the company expects a rebound in volume growth in second-half 2020.
While the company is beginning to witness a modest recovery in industrial demand in China, it expects soft general industrial demand to continue in the United States and Europe.
For 2020, the company projects adjusted EPS growth between 4% and 9%, which excludes the impact of currency translation. First-quarter 2020 earnings per share from continuing operations are projected in the range $1.32-$1.42.
The company expects sales growth in the range of 1%-3% (on constant currencies basis), including acquisitions.
Shares of PPG Industries have rallied 21.8% in the past year against 23.4% decline of the industry.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
PPG Industries currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Daqo New Energy Corp (DQ - Free Report) , Pan American Silver Corp (PAAS - Free Report) and Commercial Metals Company (CMC - Free Report) , each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Daqo New Energy has projected earnings growth rate of 315.4% for 2020. The company’s shares have surged 96.4% in the past year.
Pan American Silver has an estimated earnings growth rate of 46.7% for 2020. Its shares have returned 56.9% in the past year.
Commercial Metals has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.3% for fiscal 2020. The company’s shares have rallied 35.9% in the past year.
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