Top Three CEO Comments
PPG continued to deliver solid performance in 2017. The company’s net sales of $14.8 billion were up more than three percent versus 2016.
“PPG in 2017 delivered adjusted earnings diluted per share growth; we continued to aggressively manage costs; and we completed the multi-year strategic transformation of our business portfolio by divesting our North American fiber glass business, said CEO Michael McGarry. “Today, PPG is entirely focused on innovating paints, coatings and specialty materials to deliver growth and value in our business.”
The company has committed to deploy a minimum of $2.4 billion of cash in 2018 on acquisitions and share repurchases as part of a previously announced target to deploy $3.5 billion in 2017 and 2018 combined.
Addressing its recent acquisition of Valspar, Sherwin-Williams CEO John Morikis noted in its annual report that “The Sherwin-Williams Company described in the pages of this annual report differs in many meaningful ways from the company we reported on just one year ago. With the completion of the Valspar acquisition on June 1, 2017, we are a larger, more diversified and more global enterprise. We are also a more complex and disparate company with higher balance sheet leverage. I have heard from many institutional investors over the past year that large-scale acquisitions often fail to create significant shareholder value. Based on our experience thus far, I believe our acquisition of Valspar will prove to be a convincing exception to this rule. The successful integration of Valspar will create a faster-growing, more profitable company.”
AkzoNobel’s newly appointed CEO Thierry Vanlancker noted in its annual report that 2017 was an extraordinary year for the company.
“As we forge ahead to build for the future and maximize the power of our brands, the company is sharpening its focus. We have a new management team in place; have adopted a new structure to create a simpler, faster organization ready to adapt to new industry challenges; have committed to new financial guidance of 15 percent ROS by 2020 and remain as dedicated as ever to delivering for our customers…There were many notable events during 2017, although the milestone development was the decision to separate our Specialty Chemicals business.”