Sherwin-Williams Slides as Costs, Labor Shortage Dent Profit
(Bloomberg) -- Sherwin-Williams Co. slumped as staffing shortages and continued challenges with raw-material availability dragged preliminary financial results below Wall Street’s expectations. The paintmaker said it would raise prices to offset its higher costs.
Adjusted earnings will be about $1.35 a share for the fourth quarter, the company said Friday in a statement ahead of its full report Jan. 27. That was well short of the $1.69 average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Preliminary net sales fell just shy of expectations.
The shares fell 2.6% at 9:47 a.m. Friday in New York. The stock has dropped 12% since reaching an all-time high on Dec. 31
“We are disappointed in our weaker-than-expected earnings results,” Chief Executive Officer John Morikis said in the statement. “We faced meaningful labor challenges in the Americas Group in December related to the Covid omicron variant, as our workforce, including store managers, field sales reps and drivers, experienced reduced staff availability and store hours in some locations.”
Sherwin-Williams is the latest company to cite labor issues related to the fast-spreading omicron variant, which has upended operations for airlines, retailers and other businesses. The paint giant had already been dealing with supply-chain issues, including resin shortages, prompting it to cut its third-quarter forecast multiple times last year.
While demand remains strong in early 2022, Morikis said raw-material availability and coronavirus-related issues would likely remain through the first quarter. The company is raising prices in every division, including a 12% increase for the Americas Group effective Feb. 1.
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