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Sherwin-Williams sales, earnings up in third quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

On a series of acquisitions, Sherwin-Williams saw across-the-board increases in third-quarter sales and earnings.

Sherwin-Williams recorded total net earnings of $200.3 million, up 11.8 percent from $179.1 million last year. The paint and coatings giant had sales of $2.2 billion in the quarter, up 4.8 percent from $2.1 billion last year.

Net earnings in the company’s paint stores group rose 9.6 percent to $248.4 million compared with $226.7 million last year. Sales rose 3.9 percent to $1.4 billion compared with $1.35 billion in the same period last year. The company attributed those gains in part to acquisitions, including the assets of Columbia Paint & Coatings, purchased at the end of the first quarter. Other acquisitions included the earlier purchase of M.A. Bruder & Sons — combined with Columbia, the two acquisitions added 172 stores to the group’s operations.

“We are encouraged by the positive sales results generated by the paint stores group as they more than offset the reduction in architectural paint to other customers,” said Christopher Conner, chairman and CEO of Sherwin-Williams. “Despite the sluggish new residential and housing turnover markets, we continued to invest in our U.S. controlled distribution network.”

Consumer group earnings rose 6.4 percent to $64.15 million from $60.28 million last year. Sales were down 1.7 percent to $349 million from $355 million last year.

Global group earnings saw a 12.5 percent gain, up to $48.02 million from $42.7 million last year. Sales increased 8 percent to $445 million from $412.1 million last year.

For the fourth quarter, the company raised its estimated net income-per-share predictions, based on both expected segment profit growth and continued strength in the consumer group. The company expects a full-year sales increase of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.

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S&P places watch on BMHC

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building Materials Holding Corp. (BMHC) has been placed on a negative watch by Standard & Poor’s rating services, a possible precursor to a lowered rating over the next few months. S&P took the action following last week’s SEC filing from Chapman Capital, a BMHC shareholder that is seeking to oust chairman and CEO Robert Mellor.

“This change could lead to unexpected changes in business strategies that neither support credit quality nor stay within our expectations at the current ratings,” said S&P analyst Andy Sookram in a prepared statement.

The credit watch also made reference to “an expectation that this downturn will last longer than previously expected.”

Chapman Capital, based in Los Angeles, owns a 9 percent stake in BMHC, according to the firm. The managing member, Robert Chapman, has filed numerous SEC documents calling for changes at BMHC, the most recent being the replacement of Mellor by Stan Wilson, president of the BMC West division.

BMHC’s 2006 direct sales to professional customers were $2.8 billion. The company’s total sales in 2006 were $3.2 billion.

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Stanley Works board names new member

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Works has named Carlos Cardoso, president and CEO of metal products company Kennametal, to its board of directors.

Cardoso, 49, joined Kennametal in 2003 as chief operating officer prior to being promoted to his current position in 2005.

Prior to his time at Kennametal, Cardoso was president of the Pump Division of Flowserve Corp., a $1.3 billion operation.

John Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Stanley Works, said Cardoso brings “a wide range of experiences in marketing, sales, service and operations and a global business perspective to our board.”

Stanley Works is a worldwide supplier of tools and security solutions.

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