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PPG Releases Color Popularity Data

Zacks Equity Research

Coatings company, PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) released its annual automotive color popularity and trend data. As per the survey, white ranked in the top position with 22% votes and silver occupied next place with 20%. Black is preferred a little bit less than silver with 19% votes, gray got 12%, red 9%, blue 7%, green 2% and the remaining colors got 1%.

The survey also revealed that white ranked first in North America and Europe followed by black. In Asia Pacific, both silver and white were most popular followed by black. Therefore, white is proved to be the most common choice among the automobile buyers.

A survey conducted by PPG in 2011 showed that owners of large luxury cars, sporty cars and large premium SUVs gave a lot of importance to colors. Of the people surveyed, 77% of them stated that exterior color played a vital role in their automotive purchase decision and 45% stated that they would prefer to get a wide array of choice for colors.

PPG provided 64 new exterior shades to automotive designers for consideration in designs of 2015-2016 model years. Some of these colors were Al Fresco, a mixture of silver metallic with fresh green tint; and Victoria Grey, a mixture of classic grey with an iridescent highlight of gold metal.

PPG has a team of more than 20 color experts and six color styling laboratories that cater to multiple end use markets and provide color combinations that are unmatched in the industry. The company also provides paint technologies that deliver automotive design options for enhancing appearance and help automobile manufacturers differentiate their brands.

In July 2012, PPG released its second-quarter 2012 results. The company posted earnings of $2.36 a share for the quarter (excluding special items), which was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The adjusted earnings exclude charges associated with the company’s move to divest its commodity chemicals business to Georgia Gulf Corp. for $2.1 billion.

Profit (as reported) rose 6.5% year over year to $362 million or $2.34 a share, driven by the company’s cost containment measures. The company reported a profit of $340 million or $2.12 a share a year ago.

Revenues slipped 0.8% year over year to $3,955 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,153 million. Unfavorable currency exchange movements negatively affected its sales by 5% during the quarter.

PPG Industries witnessed mixed results across its end markets in the quarter while its aerospace and automotive OEM coatings businesses recorded strong growth. Strong internal growth in domestic market was somewhat offset by softness in Europe.

Moving ahead, the company expects the European market to remain under pressure and foresees inconsistent growth in North America and Asia. It will continue to execute the restructuring measures in its European operation, which are expected to fetch cost savings of $40 million-$50 million in the second half of 2012. The company expects higher input costs to continue to weigh on its results in the same period. However, it will implement the appropriate pricing strategy to offset the impact.

The company, which competes with DuPont Performance Coatings segment of EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD), holds a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). Currently, we have a long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on its shares.

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