Sherwin-Williams cuts outlook for first quarter

Cleveland-based paint and coatings giant Sherwin-Williams has cut its first-quarter outlook due to rising costs of raw materials and lower-than-expected sales in the United States. Still, the company said results from its global group will be higher than expected.

In a conference call with investors on the amended sales projections, Sherwin-Williams CEO Christopher Connor said, “The length and severity of the housing market decline has caused a business and segment mix change that is contributing to this earnings shortfall.”

Connor said the company plans job cuts to deal with the lower demand in the DIY market, at distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and stores. While the company originally forecast adding about 100 new stores next year, it also has trimmed that outlook to 40 or 50 net new stores, with some closures planned.

Overall, the company lowered its first-quarter earnings-per-share forecast to between 56 cents and 61 cents, compared with the earlier forecast of 72 cents to 80 cents.

Sherwin-Williams manufactures paint under the Krylon and Dutch Boy brands and operates more than 3,300 company-owned stores in the United States.

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