Here's a chemical company that has made two very Foolish moves and managed them while hiking prices and lowering costs. A nice blend of these two factors has brought forth a good third quarter for PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG ) .
PPG's numbers, having surpassed estimates, have made me curious about what the company's up to, and whether it is poised to grow bigger. I'll try and find a few answers for you.
It's a pricey business!
Customers are shelling out more for PPG's products, but that hasn't really kept them at bay. Though each of PPG's 13 businesses raised prices in the third quarter, volumes remained flat relative to the same period last year. In fact, the emerging markets stood out with higher volumes in the last quarter.
High product prices drove PPG's revenues up by 11% from the year-ago quarter to $3.8 billion. The entire chemical space has been about passing on the buck lately. When companies like DuPont (NYSE: DD ) and Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) consistently hike prices for products like titanium dioxide, which is a core raw material for PPG, what else can PPG do but follow suit? Peers like Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW ) have also hiked prices. In fact, PPG has hinted at further price jumps soon.
But, in spite of hiccups such as high costs and plant outages, a growing top line nicely pushed up PPG's net profit to $311 million, up 18.7% from last year's third quarter.
Emerging markets emerged as winners for PPG, as high volumes there actually helped offset the lower European volumes. Now, PPG has its eyes focused on growing markets.
It has recently joined hands with an Indian company to expand its fiberglass products in that fast-growing region. PPG will also acquire a Colombia-based coatings business, thus extending its coatings presence in the Latin American market. Good going, PPG!
I really like the way PPG has been growing. It continues to expand aggressively and add value to its business. And that approach seems to be working in its favor.
Some plans up its sleeves? Well, PPG will be acquiring a European coatings business soon. It will begin operations in a new glass fabrication plant early next year, and will be increasing global silica production capacity at various sites every year to meet higher demand.
And now for some recent achievements
PPG has been selected by Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM ) to provide matte-finish coatings for all its super sports car repairs. Equipment giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) has picked PPG to be the single coatings supplier for its new plant. PPG has also signed an agreement with an aviation company to supply windshields and cockpit windows for their Falcon jets. An OLED lights supplier has also chosen PPG as the manufacturer of its OLED materials.
Whew! Too many good things going on here, aren't they? Given the ambitious plans and huge cash balance of $1.2 billion PPG has, I won’t be surprised if similar news continues to roll!
The Foolish bottom line
PPG is a strong and growing company. It has also kept investors in mind by repurchasing shares and paying out regular dividends; its current dividend yield is solid at 2.9%.
What are you waiting for? Make sure you keep a watch on PPG, and do not miss out on any news and analysis on the company. Simply have to click here to add PPG to your stock Watchlist.