Sales rise, but Valspar swings to loss in Q4
Paint supplier Valspar Corp. reported net sales of $1.05 billion for its fourth fiscal quarter, a 19.4% increase from the fourth quarter of 2010. The Minneapolis-based company posted a net loss of $295.7 million for the quarter, which ended Oct. 28, 2011. This compares to a profit of $51.3 million for the same quarter in 2010.
Fiscal year 2011 sales totaled $3.95 billion, a 22.5% increase from fiscal year 2010. Net loss for fiscal year 2011 was $138.6 million. Net income for 2010 was $222.1 million.
“Delivering strong sales and double-digit earnings growth for the year was a significant accomplishment given challenging market conditions and substantially higher raw material costs,” said Gary Hendrickson, president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We were very successful with our new business efforts and made progress in restoring our operating margin through pricing and productivity. We continued to invest in our brands and leading technologies and took additional steps to reduce our cost structure. In addition, we returned cash to shareholders by repurchasing 6.75 million shares and increased our dividend for the 33rd consecutive year.”
In his 2012 forecast, Hendrickson said: “While the outlook for the global economy is unclear, our sales will benefit from our diverse mix of businesses and growth in fast-growing coatings markets in Asia and Latin America. We have a strong pipeline of new products and significant opportunities for share gains in both our paint and coatings segments globally. We will benefit from our restructuring actions and maintain our operational and pricing discipline. We currently anticipate fiscal 2012 adjusted net income per share in the range of $2.87 to $3.07, our fourth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth.”
Langone sounds off on talk show
In a spirited conversation on CNBC Tuesday morning, Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone delivered pointed comments on protestors and the education system. Ultimately, though, he described himself as bullish on America.
Langone, currently chairman and president of Invemed Associates, had this advice to protestors in the Occupy Wall Street movement: "Stop bitching about where you are and do something about it."
He also pointed to weakness across the board in America’s education system.
"The generation of children in public schools in America today is the first generation that’s going to have a lower literacy rate than the previous generation," Langone said. "There are jobs all over, but you need to be able to count."
Asked if he was bullish on the economy, Langone answered that the country has tough decisions to make. He also said: "I think America’s greatest days are ahead of it."
California city bans synthetic grass
The city of Glendale, Calif., has began enforcing a prohibition on synthetic turf for front lawns, according to an article in the Glendale News Press.
The Glendale ban has been in place for three months, according to the article, but code enforcement officers have recently issued six violation notices to property owners who refused to remove the artificial turf from their front yards. Faux grass in the backyard is permitted, however.
When the issue was debated before the City Council, residents of this Southern California city voiced concerns about lead poisoning and the heat given off by synthetic turf. Proponents cited its water-saving attributes.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has began offering synthetic turf aimed at the DIY customer through a pilot program with Dalton, Ga.-based SYNLawn. The product is currently in 463 Lowe’s stores.