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Valspar reports strong quarter

BY HBSDealer Staff

Paint manufacturer Valspar Corp. reported sales of $1.03 billion for its second fiscal quarter, a 4% rise over sales in the second quarter of 2011. Net income for the second quarter, which ended April 27, was $76.5 million compared with $56.3 million a year ago.

“We were pleased with our performance in the quarter,” said Gary Hendrickson, Valspar’s president and CEO. “Our earnings growth was driven by new business in our industrial product lines, better price-to-cost balance, productivity improvements and benefits from last year’s restructuring actions. Our volume trend improved sequentially in both our coatings and paint segments in the quarter.” 

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HD testing ultra light Sheetrock

BY HBSDealer Staff

USG Corp.’s Sheetrock Ultralight panels are available at Home Depot stores nationwide, according to blog site JetsonGreen.com. The product, first tested in 2010, weighs anywhere from 15 to 24 lbs. less than typical gypsum board, depending on the size. It can be used with a 40% lighter joint compound released in January 2012.

The product has at least 16 reviews at Home Depot, and many of the comments reflect that the panels feel light and score easily, according to the report.

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Housing starts improve in April

BY Ken Clark

Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000 in April, up 2.6% from the upwardly revised March figure, and up almost 30% from April 2011.

The April Residential Construction from the Commerce Department report showed surprisingly strong housing starts combined with a decline in housing permits — just the opposite of the March 2012 report. In April, building permits declined 7.0% to a rate of 715,000, after hitting a three-year high in March.

Single-family starts were at a rate of 492,000 in April, up 2.3% from March, and up 18.8% from the same month a year ago.

On a regional basis, the Midwest showed a surge of year-over-year single-family starts, up 41.5%. In the West, single-family starts declined 3.1% on a month-to-month basis. The rest of the regions reflected the national averages.

March’s data was revised upward from a previously reported rate of 654,000 total housing starts, to a revised 699,000.

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