Paint and coatings maker Valspar Corp. reported solid first-quarter results Tuesday, but signaled that the high U.S. dollar would thwart overseas growth and produce flat sales for all of fiscal 2015.
Minneapolis-based Valspar saw fiscal first-quarter sales rise 4 percent to $992 million, beating analysts' expectations by $20 million. Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings rose 16 percent to $71 million, or 85 cents a share, 9 cents better than analysts expected.
CEO Gary Hendrickson credited the results to improved sales and profits in Valspar's coatings business, strong demand in China and a host of new contracts. That helped overcome declining paint sales in North America. Total paint sales fell 1 percent to $359 million for the quarter. In contrast, varnishes, can coatings and other coating product sales rose 7 percent to $586 million for the quarter.
Hendrickson reaffirmed Valspar's guidance for fiscal 2015, saying earnings should reach $4.45 to $4.65 a share. His sale guidance, however, changed. Instead of the prior sales forecast that called for "low single-digit" growth, Hendrickson now expects "approximately flat sales" for 2015.
Valspar shares fell $1.42 cents a share to close at $86.51 on Tuesday.