Sherwin-Williams 1st-qtr net income rises 16 pct

Sherwin-Williams posts 16 pct jump in 1st-qtr profit to top Street; shares hit all-time high

Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Sherwin-Williams Co. said Thursday its first-quarter net income rose 16 percent, helped by better results at its paint stores and global finishes businesses.

The Cleveland-based paint company earned $116.2 million, or $1.11 per share, up from $100.2 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose just over 1 percent to $2.17 billion from $2.14 billion, helped by contributions from a recent acquisition and higher sales volumes at the paint store business.

The profit beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell slightly short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.09 per share on $2.22 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Paint store sales rose 4 percent to $1.17 billion on higher demand for architectural paint, while sales at the company's consumer business fell 4 percent to $308.6 million. Global finishes sales increased 1 percent to $486.8 million, but profit at the business increased 19 percent on higher selling prices and better efficiency.

Sherwin-Williams projected a second-quarter profit of $2.50 to $2.60 per share on sales growth of 5 percent to 9 percent. Based on the company's year-ago results, the guidance implies revenue of $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion.

Analysts expect a second-quarter profit of $2.58 per share on $2.93 billion in revenue.

Sherwin-Williams also backed its previous full-year profit guidance of $7.45 to $7.55 per share. The company also said it expects 2013 sales to rise above 2012 levels by a "mid-single-digit percentage." The company reported $9.53 billion revenue for 2012.

Wall Street was projecting earnings of $8.02 per share for the year, with estimates ranging from $7.50 to $9.50. Analysts expect revenue of $10.68 billion.

Sherwin-Williams shares rose $3.95, or 2.3 percent, to $174.84 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new all-time high of $177.01, surpassing the record trade it hit earlier in the week of $175.46.

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