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PPG to Boost Waterborne Coatings Production With $10M Investment

PPG's $10-million investment in Germany will bolster its capability to produce waterborne basecoats to cater to automakers' rising demand for sustainable materials.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

PPG Industries, Inc. PPG recently announced its decision to invest more than $10 million (€9 million) in its plant in Weingarten, Germany, to boost production of automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coatings.

The Pennsylvania-based paints giant plans to build a 10,000-square-foot extension to its existing facility in Weingarten, which will have a capacity to produce more than 5,000 metric tons of waterborne basecoats annually. The project is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2022.

Waterborne coatings create lower volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and replace the solvents found in conventional basecoats with distilled water. This helps provide reduced odor and enhanced air quality in the work environment for both PPG and its customers. VOC regulations in regions like Europe and China have fueled demand for waterborne technology.

The latest investment will help PPG capitalize on the revved-up demand from automakers to include more sustainable materials in their products. This vital investment aims to solidify PPG’s production capabilities in Europe and will leverage its best-in-class waterborne technology to help its customers meet their carbon-neutrality goals. In fact, the company considers Weingarten as a crucial location due to its closeness to several key German OEM customers.

This project forms part of the series of investments PPG makes in its automotive OEM coatings production in Europe. It parallels the company’s recently announced investment of €3 million to expand clearcoat production at its plant in Erlenbach, Germany. These investments will aid PPG in reducing its total operational carbon footprint by more than 1,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.

PPG, having a long record of supplying paints and coatings to automotive manufacturers, stated that the latest investment will bolster its capabilities to produce more environment-friendly products and ensure continued value creation for its customers.

Shares of PPG have gained 10.8% in the past year compared with a 6.5% rise of the industry.

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The company, in its last earnings call, stated that it expects the ongoing supply-chain crisis to continue throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, with potential additional impacts from the recent industrial production curtailments in China. Nonetheless, it anticipated these disruptions to ease modestly in overall quantity and magnitude as the quarter progresses.

PPG will continue to prioritize further selling price hikes and expects price realization to offset raw material cost inflation early this year. Moreover, the recovery of the automotive OEM, aerospace and automotive refinish coatings businesses will be a key catalyst for the company’s growth in 2022.

PPG Industries also expects net sales volumes to be down 8-10% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company also sees adjusted earnings for full-year 2021 at $6.67-$6.73 per share.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

PPG Industries currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Albemarle Corporation ALB, Commercial Metals Company CMC and AdvanSix Inc. ASIX.

Albemarle, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 51.5% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Albemarle’s 2022 earnings has been revised 5.4% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 22.1%. ALB has rallied around 34% in a year.

Commercial Metals, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 10.5% for the current fiscal year. The consensus estimate for Commercial Metals’ current fiscal year has been revised 6.6% upward in the past 60 days.

Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 13.1%, on average. CMC has rallied around 67.6% in a year.

AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 3.9% for 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AdvanSix’s 2022 earnings has been revised 2% upward in the past 60 days.

AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 46.9%. ASIX has rallied 102.3% in a year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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