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.”