Joining me on the call today from PPG are Chuck Bunch, our Chairman and CEO; Dave Navikas, Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer; and Michael McGarry, Senior Vice President, Commodity Chemicals.Our comments relate to the financial information released on Thursday, July 19, 2012. As a reminder, based on our modified quarterly earnings call process, about 1 hour ago, we posted the detailed commentary and accompanying presentation slides on our Investor Center at www.ppg.com. Those slides are also available on the webcast site for this call. We do not read those prepared remarks during the call. However, during the call, Chuck will share his perspective on the results for the quarter, and we will move directly to Q&A. Both the prepared commentary and discussion during this call may contain forward-looking statements, reflecting the company's current view about future events and their potential effect on PPG's operating and financial performance. These statements involve uncertainties and risks, which may cause actual results to differ. The company is under no obligation to provide subsequent updates to these forward-looking statements. Presentation also contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. The company has provided, in the appendix of the presentation materials, which are available on our website, reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures. For additional information, please refer to PPG's filings with the SEC. Now let me introduce PPG's Chairman and CEO, Chuck Bunch. Charles E. Bunch Thank you, Vince, and welcome, everyone. PPG continued our earnings growth momentum during the second quarter, posting our highest earnings in the company's history. Our adjusted earnings per diluted share of $2.36 per share were up 11% versus last year and marked the eighth consecutive quarterly record for the company. We delivered these record results despite weakened European economic conditions and sizable negative impacts from weakening foreign currencies in Europe and Latin America. Continued organic growth in our coatings businesses in the United States and emerging regions, along with the favorable impact from our recent acquisitions, offset the reduced European sales results. As a result, aggregate coatings segment earnings grew by more than 10% versus last year.
The primary region for volume improvement was the United States, where our volume growth was fairly consistent with the first quarter. Sales growth in local currencies continued in the emerging regions, but was mixed by end-use market. Our effective cash deployment over the past year, including the performance of our recent acquisitions and a reduction of 5 million shares from our diluted share count, also contributed to the improved earnings.To summarize our performance, PPG's record results in the quarter and over the past 2 years continue to provide measurable evidence of the strength of our global business portfolio, strong cash generation and the effective deployment of our cash. Looking ahead, we expect European demand to remain challenging. As such, we are aggressively implementing our previously announced restructuring programs, focused primarily in this region. Targeted savings from these programs is between $40 million and $50 million in the second half of this year. We expect growth in North America and Asia to continue but to remain inconsistent by end-use market. Finally, we absorbed similar coatings input cost inflation in the first and second quarters. We expect to offset the negative effects of this inflation in the second half of the year with selectively higher pricing and lower commodity input costs. That concludes our prepared remarks. Now operator, would you please give instructions and open the phone lines for questions? Question-and-Answer Session Operator [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Kevin McCarthy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Kevin W. McCarthy - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division Chuck, I was wondering if you could amplify your thoughts on raw material cost trends in the back half of the year. Is it the case that the rate of inflation is decelerating or do you expect costs to actually come down sequentially in the back half? And then related to that, Chuck, if you could provide an update on the TiO2 pigment cost trends, please. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com