(VAL) Valspar Launches Valspar Plus Paint

The Valspar Corporation’s (VAL) Valspar Paint launched the first indoor decorative paint, which has been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

The Valspar Plus paint, certified as asthma and allergy friendly, decreases airborne irritants and enhances the painting process of people with respiratory sensitivities.

The Valspar Plus is odor-free and has zero volatile organic compounds. The antimicrobial characteristics of the coating provide resistance to mildew and mold. The company has developed the Valspar Plus in response to the market requirement for a paint that meets the needs of Americans suffering from allergies and asthma.

The benefits offered by the paint include one-coat coverage with lifetime warranty, stain resistance, high durability, exceptional quality and performance. It is easy to wash and maintain once the paint has dried.

The Valspar Plus coating is available in a wide range of colors for trim, ceiling and wall applications. It is offered in three types such as semi-gloss, satin and flat.

Last month, the company released its second-quarter earnings. Net earnings moved up 3 cents to 64 cents in the second quarter of 2011 from last year’s 61 cents and were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Adjusted net earnings excluded charges relating to acquisition of 5 cents per share and restructuring actions of 1 cent per share. Including these charges, earnings per share came in at 58 cents in the second quarter of 2011.

Quarterly sales jumped about 23.5% year over year to $992.7 million, driven by new business efforts, pricing and acquisitions, offsetting rising raw material costs and surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $953 million.

Sales in Valspar’s Coatings segment increased 15.2% year over year to $509.1 million and sales in the Paints segment shot up to $418.4 million, up 37.6% from the prior-year quarter. Sales from intersegment business increased 13.4% year over year to $65.2 million.

Gross margin decreased to 31.8% in the reported quarter versus 34.0% in the comparable year-ago quarter. Operating expense as a percentage of net sales inched up 21.8% from last year’s 21.0%.

Valspar expects adjusted net income per share to be in the range of $2.45 to $2.65 per share in fiscal 2011. The company continues to raise its selling prices and take steps to further reduce its cost structure while maintaining investments in its brands and technology.

Valspar competes with the likes of Sherwin Williams Company (SHW) and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG).

We maintain our Neutral recommendation on Valspar with a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) on the stock.

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