said its first quarter earnings rose 36.5% as operations improved.
The company earned $113.7 million, or 82 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $83.3 million, or 58 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 75 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
First-quarter revenue rose 14.9% to $1.8 billion as against analysts' expectation of $1.7 billion.
The company expects to earn $1.25 a share to $1.30 a share. It projects revenue to increase 10% to 13% for the second quarter. For the full year, the company expects to earn $3.75 a share to $3.90 a share and revenues are expected to grow in the low-to-mid-teens. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.19 a share for the second quarter and $3.90 a share for full year.
Operating profit rose 50.4% to $161.9 million while operating profit margin declined 60 basis points to 6.4%.
Sales in the paint stores segment increased 20.5% to $1.1 billion in the quarter due primarily to continuing strong domestic architectural paint sales to contractors, do-it-yourself customers and improved industrial maintenance product sales.
Sales in consumer group segment increased marginally to $329.9 million and global group segment's sales increased 13.9% to $380.6 million.
The company acquired 400,000 shares of its common stock through open market purchases during the quarter. It has remaining authorization to purchase 18 million shares at the end of the quarter.
The company's shares were trading down 45 cents at $52.34.
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