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Sherwin-Williams (SHW)

Second quarter earnings for this paint company missed analysts’ estimates, due primarily to currency adjustments. but rose to $4.06 from $3.97 a year ago. The company has an interesting new product that could significantly change the health of hospital patients—more on that below.

Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
From Internet Wealth Builder

New ideas are coming so fast it seems like the world is being turned upside down. Driverless cars. On-line games that interact with your environment. Watches that can monitor your bodily functions. 3-D printers. Robot cleaners. The list goes on.

But here’s something maybe you haven’t heard about—a paint that kills germs. It has been developed by Sherwin-Williams (SHW) and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an antibacterial paint.

It’s a latex paint called Paint Shield, and the company says it is deadly to many of the germs responsible for hospital infections. They include Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis) and Enterobacter aerogenes.

The company says its paint will kill over 99.9% of these germs within two hours of exposure on painted surfaces. It continues to kill 90% of these bacteria even after repeated contamination on painted surfaces. The effectiveness lasts for up to four years as long as the integrity of the surface is maintained.

Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Connor calls it “one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in our nearly 150-year history of innovation.”

Paint Shield is like any ordinary paint in that it can be applied to any interior surface with a brush or roller and comes in 590 colors. However, it sells for a premium price, as you might expect given its unique germ-killing nature.

If the idea of using it to paint a new baby’s room appeals to you, I’m sorry to report you can’t buy it in Canada yet. Steve Revnew, vice president of product innovation at Sherwin-Williams, says the company is awaiting approval from Health Canada before it can be sold here.

The company hasn’t released any figures on how well Paint Shield is selling in the U.S. but a product of this type should be a natural for any health care facility, especially at a time when about one patient in 25 contracts a hospital-related infection. A report released by the Alliance for Aging Research in 2013 concluding that 1.7 million Americans develop hospital-acquired infections each year, with 99,000 deaths.

The Sherwin-Williams product doesn’t combat all germs—c. difficile is not on the list—but it does protect against such killers as Staphylococcus aureus.

The company, which is based in Cleveland, has been turning in some impressive financial results recently. First-quarter net sales were up 5.1% to a record $2.57 billion (figures in U.S. dollars). Diluted earnings per share came in at $1.57, an improvement of almost 14% from $1.38 in the first quarter of 2015. Same-store sales growth was very impressive, with stores open for at least 12 months reporting growth of 9.4% compared to the year-ago period.

CEO John G. Morikis said he expects a second-quarter sales increase in the low to mid single digit range and earnings per share of $3.95 to $4.15 excluding acquisition costs. EPS in last year’s second quarter was $3.70. WSBI Editor’s Note: SHW earned $4.06 per share for second quarter and revenues increased to $3,219.5 million.

The company has been passing on part of its gains to investors. The dividend was increased by 25% at the start of the year, to $0.84 per quarter ($3.36 per year).

The stock price has moved up sharply from $280 at the end of last month and may be a little stretched at this level with a trailing p/e ratio of 26.4. But the company is clearly on the upswing and the consensus rating of brokers who track it is Buy.

Action now: Buy under $300. The company is doing well and if the new Paint Shield product takes hold it could mean a big boost to sales. The shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SHW and closed Friday at $305.90.

Gordon Pape, Internet Wealth Builder,, 1-888-287- 8229, July 17, 2016