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Will Higher Costs, FX Dent PPG Industries (PPG) Q1 Earnings?

Zacks Equity Research

PPG Industries Inc. PPG is set to release first-quarter 2019 results ahead of the bell on Apr 18.

Last quarter, the paint giant saw its profits from continuing operations jump roughly 73% year over year to $256 million or $1.07 per share. Adjusted earnings of $1.15 per share for the quarter topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.09.

Net sales fell 1% year over year to $3,645 million and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,659 million. Unfavorable currency swings affected net sales by around 3%.

PPG Industries surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed once, delivering an average positive surprise of 1.5%.

The company has outperformed the industry year to date. While PPG Industries’ shares gained around 13.9% over this period, the industry saw a decline of roughly 0.5%.


Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

PPG Industries, in its fourth-quarter call, stated that it expects impact of cost inflation, year-over-year unfavorable foreign currency translation and lower sales volume to impact its performance in the first half of 2019. Based on these, the company projects first-quarter 2019 earnings per share in the range of $1.18-$1.23.

The company also envisions sales growth of 3-5% at constant currency for full-year 2019. It also expects adjusted earnings per share growth of 7-10% for the year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues for PPG Industries for the to-be-reported quarter stands at $3,713 million, reflecting an expected year-over-year decrease of 1.9%.

For the company’s Industrial Coatings unit, segment income is expected to decrease 11.3% year over year as the Zacks Consensus Estimate is $213 million for the first quarter. The same for the Performance Coatings segment is pegged at $263 million, reflecting an expected decline of 7.7% on a year-over-year comparison basis.

PPG Industries faces cost pressure associated with raw materials and logistics that is likely to hurt its results in the first quarter. The company witnessed considerable raw material cost inflation in the fourth quarter, marking the ninth straight quarter of year-over-year increase. PPG Industries expects the inflationary impacts to continue for at least through the first two quarters of 2019. The company also faced headwinds from higher logistics cost inflation in 2018 and expects continued inflation in 2019.

Moreover, PPG Industries faced significant headwinds from unfavorable currency impact in the fourth quarter due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and expects currency to continue to impact its sales. Currency swings unfavorably impacted its sales by around $110 million in the fourth quarter.

The company expects unfavorable currency impact of $400-$500 million on sales and $50-$70 million impact on earnings in 2019. Due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar during the second half of 2018, the company expects to witness most of the currency headwinds during first-half 2019. PPG Industries expects $170-$190 million of unfavorable currency impact on sales for the March quarter.

Nevertheless, the company is aggressively managing costs (including accelerating restructuring activities) and is also implementing appropriate pricing actions to counter the impact of cost inflation.

PPG Industries is executing significant restructuring actions to improve cost structure. These are mainly focused on regions and end-use markets with the weakest business conditions. The restructuring actions delivered savings of more than $20 million in the fourth quarter and roughly $80 million for 2018. The company expects to deliver $60-$70 million in restructuring savings in 2019.

PPG Industries is also undertaking steps to grow business inorganically. The company expects acquisitions (completed or announced) to contribute sales of between $225 million and $275 million in 2019.

PPG Industries, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

PPG Industries, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | PPG Industries, Inc. Quote

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not show that PPG Industries is likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both — a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) — for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below:

Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP for PPG Industries is currently pegged at 0.00%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings is currently at $1.21. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank:
PPG Industries carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Strong Sell) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies in the basic materials space you may want to consider as our model shows they too have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Arconic Inc. ARNC has an Earnings ESP of +0.65% and carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

AK Steel Holding Corporation AKS has an Earnings ESP of +8.72% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Ingevity Corporation NGVT has an Earnings ESP of +6.77% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.

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PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Ingevity Corporation (NGVT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Arconic Inc. (ARNC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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