Sherwin-Williams Earnings Call INSIGHTS: Paint Store Segment, Same-Store Sales Growth

On Thursday, Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

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Paint Store Segment

John McNulty – Credit Suisse: Looking at the Paint Store segment, when we look at the growth 14.5% looks pretty solid, its down from the levels that you saw in first quarter and I guess I’m wondering what the drivers are is it all weather that we had kind of talked about last quarter a lot or is it are there other things going on, whether its pricing decelerating or actual core growth decelerating how should we think about that?

Sean P. Hennessy – SVP, Finance and CFO: I think you should think about it John as a heck of a strong quarter for the Paint Stores Group 14% in targeted sales, when we look at some of the competitive numbers that are coming out is terrific. We (indiscernible) in the first quarter it’s the smallest quarter for the year. We did have unusually good weather. We said we didn’t think we had pulled much demand forward and gave guidance that we see the strong double-digit sales gain in the second quarter and that’s exactly what happened.

John McNulty – Credit Suisse: And the one follow up on the margin side, when we look at the consumer segment year-over-year had actually a better improvement in the Paint Store side which I guess to us a little bit counterintuitive given who your customers are. So, can you walk us through the dynamics of what may be driving that improvement versus maybe a slightly smaller improvement on the paint store side?

Sean P. Hennessy – SVP, Finance and CFO: That was – Chris, I mean we had a great quarter. When you take a look at the gallons that were going through the manufacturing, the logistics, the warehouse systems over there, it was a nice quarter for the Consumer Group on their own, but they also had some really nice improvement with the efficiencies of those gallons. I will go back and just remind you, when we take a look at our Company, gallons that we can put through the stores chain, that goes to their consumer chain, that’s really when you look at that incremental margin. As Chris mentioned in his comments, that’s really get it. So, is not uncommon. If you looked at the margins three to four years ago, the peak margins of Consumer have always been higher than stores, but what we have said is, consumers will be more stable.

Same-Store Sales Growth

Irwin Markews – KeyBanc Capital Markets: In your same-store sales growth of 13.9% how much of that was price would you gauge?

Christopher M. Connor – Chairman and CEO: We basically have given some directional color here. We said that volumes were more significant than price, price was mid-single digits.

Irwin Markews – KeyBanc Capital Markets: You mentioned on the economy showing some weakness. Did you see any sort of – like if you look at the quarter, month to month to month, did you see any sort of sequential slowdown and then if not, if it remained pretty steady is there any reason to think that it wouldn’t remain steady going into the third quarter, which is probably (indiscernible) quarter?

Robert J. Wells – SVP, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs: Let’s say, throughout the quarter, Irwin, the performance is pretty steady month to month to month. I think we’re listening to some of the comments relative to more of the industrial sector of the U.S. economy slowing down a little. But as we’ve commented in the third quarter, we expect the domestic residential architectural volumes to remain strong.

Irwin Markews – KeyBanc Capital Markets: Then my last question, in raw materials for the quarter, where would you gauge them up on a year-over-year basis?

Robert J. Wells – SVP, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs: With the range of mid to high single-digits, Irwin, it’s likely for the industry the raw material basket was up toward the upper end of that range for 2Q just because of the animalization of inflation last year.

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