What happened

Shares of paint maker PPG Industries (PPG -0.32%) rose roughly 12% out of the gate on April 16. The news driving the rally was the company's first-quarter 2021 earnings, which hit Wall Street after trading closed on April 15. Obviously, the reading was pretty good.   

So what

PPG Industries, which operates in the basic materials sector, reported sales of $3.9 billion in the first quarter, up roughly 15% from the same period in 2020. Sales volumes rose around 7% year over year, despite headwinds in some key markets (notably aerospace). On the bottom line, adjusted earnings came in at $1.88 per share, up from $1.31 in the first quarter of 2020. This year's first-quarter earnings figure is a record for the company. This is all good news and investors are right to be pleased.  

The word Growth spelled out with blocks aligned on an upward sloping line.

Image source: Getty Images.

However, Wall Street is probably more excited about the fact that analysts had been expecting the top line to come in at roughly $3.7 billion with earnings pegged at $1.57 per share. In other words, PPG Industries had solid beats on revenue and earnings. Investors tend to get a little extra jolt of excitement from this type of news.  

Now what

PPG Industrial is obviously executing well right now. That includes the benefits it is seeing from the integration of recent acquisitions. And, because the company has been able to pass along price increases it has been facing, there's every reason to believe that the positive news will continue. Long-term investors should, indeed, be happy with the company's results.