PPG earnings fall 34 percent

PPG, a glass, paint and chemicals company, reported a 34 percent drop in fourth quarter profits Thursday due to sluggish glass and coating sales.

PPG earned $83 million, or 49 cents a share, compared to income of $126 million, or 75 cents a share in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial-First Call had expected PPG to post earnings of 43 cents a share.

Sales fell 7 percent to $1.91 billion from $2.06 billion.

PPG's earnings for the year also fell by about a third. Including a $101 million restructuring charge, the company earned $387 million, or $2.29 a share, compared to $620 million, or $3.57 a share, in 2000.

Revenues for the year were down almost 6 percent from $8.6 billion in 2000 to $8.2 billion last year. Fourth quarter sales of coatings and glass fell 4 percent and 14 percent respectively.

"We anticipated a difficult year by accelerating actions to cut costs and conserve capital," said PPG chairman Raymond LeBoeuf.

LeBoeuf said it was unclear when sales would rebound, but the company planned to close more facilities and lay off more workers in the first quarter.

The company's $101 million charge in the first quarter of 2001 resulted from cutbacks including 1,500 job cuts, about 4 percent of the company's employees.

PPG's shares fell $1.04 to $45.55 on the New York Stock Exchange

600450 PPG earnings fall 34 percent glassonweb.com

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