I'll give credit where credit is due right off the bat -- PPG Industries
In the fourth quarter, PPG saw revenue rise 4% as a very slight decline in volume was counterbalanced by a healthy increase in prices. Further, all three major operating units posted top-line growth: Coatings were up 4%, glass rose 5%, and chemicals climbed 2%.
The bad news is that that's largely it for the really good news. Margins suffered from high energy and materials costs, and the company saw a roughly 19% drop in earnings per share versus last year, once you adjust for various charges. On a segment basis, the coatings business managed to achieve decent operating income growth of 7%, but the glass and chemical businesses saw significantly lower income because of the aforementioned impact of energy and materials.
There are some reasons for optimism in the segments, but not a whole lot. For instance, the company is major player in automotive coatings, but contact with Ford
Still, all is not lost. PPG has delivered better historical growth than have companies such as DuPont
For more chemical communiques:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).