Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

BUSINESS BRIEFS [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

BUSINESS BRIEFS [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

PPG sees earnings jump

PPG Industries said fourth-quarter earnings per share jumped by 45 percent over a year ago as the paints, glass and specialty chemicals maker benefited from increased revenues from acquisitions and stronger demand for its automotive and aerospace coatings. Sales rose by 14 percent to $3.7 billion. Net income was $254 million, or $1.78 per share, up from $191 million, or $1.23 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding acquisition-related costs of $4 million, adjusted net income rose to $258 million, or $1.81 per share, beating analysts' average estimates of $1.73 per share.

Charles Bunch, chairman and chief executive, said the Downtown- based company is ahead of schedule on achieving cost savings related to its $1.05-billion acquisition in April of the North American architectural coatings business of Dutch paints maker AkzoNobel, which makes Glidden and other brands.

For all of 2013, sales increased by 12 percent to $15.1 billion. Full-year adjusted earnings per share rose by 29 percent to $8.28. PPG expects to close on the sale of its stake in the Transitions Optical venture in the first half of 2014 and should receive $1.5 billion in after-tax proceeds, said Mr. Bunch. In a conference call with analysts Thursday, he also said the company is in active discussions that could lead to acquisitions this year.

Jefferson hospital lays off 25

Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Jefferson Hills has laid off 25 workers, primarily from its administration and administrative support staffs. The hospital, part of Highmark's Allegheny Health Network, has about 2,000 employees.

Supplier buys EQT Energy

Wyomissing-based energy supplier UGI Energy Services bought EQT Energy, a retail supplier of natural gas to 1,100 commercial and industrial clients in Western Pennsylvania. UGI will continue to honor EQT Energy's contracts.

Home builder index falls

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday dipped to 56. That's down from December's reading of 57. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

American Eagle tests new tech

South Side teen clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters will be working with Shopkick to launch a 100-store test of an Apple iBeacon-based system that will send information to the smartphones of shoppers on discounts, product recommendations and rewards without them being required to open an app. …

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