Bunch said that he's bullish on the U.S. economy, noting that end markets including autos, aerospace and even construction are showing signs of strength. The low price of natural gas here in the U.S. has been a windfall, he said, for not only PPG but also for the chemical industry and the overall U.S. industrial sector.
Expanding on that notion, Bunch said that the U.S. is now very competitive with China when it comes to energy intensive businesses, now that natural gas here sells for just $1.90 vs. $6, more than three times that amount, in China. The price of natural gas combined with inflating wages in China means that the cost advantage China once had is rapidly diminishing, he said.
Bunch said the PPG will continue to invest capital into both the U.S. and China over the coming years and he expects that both markets will continue to do well. However, if the U.S. revamps its tax policy, Bunch added, the U.S. could pull into the lead.
Finally, when asked why PPG decided to exit the glass business and instead focus on coatings, Bunch said that glass became a commodity business, whereas coatings requires proprietary technology to meet customers' specific needs while at the same time being far less capital intensive to produce.Cramer remained bullish on PPG Industries.
Mad Tweets: GNC vs. Vitamin ShoppeIn the "Mad Tweets" segment, Cramer responded to questions sent via Twitter to @JimCramer. When asked whether GNC (GNC) or Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) is the better play on nutritional supplements since both stocks are near their 52-week highs, Cramer dove right in. GNC is the more established player, said Cramer, with 7,600 stores in all 50 states, plus some internationally. Vitamin Shoppe is smaller, with only 520 stores, all of which are company owned. This gives Vitamin Shoppe the edge when it comes to growth, since the company is operating from a smaller base. But when it comes to other matrices, GNC takes the cake, said Cramer. For example, Vitamin Shoppe saw same-store sales increase 7.4% last year, GNC saw a 10.1% rise and gave upside guidance. Vitamin Shoppe's margins stand at just 9%, compared to 16% for GNC. Plus, GNC sports a stronger balance sheet and a small dividend to boot, noted Cramer.
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