UPDATE 2-Valspar raises 2012 profit outlook, shares up

Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:34pm EST

* Sees 2012 EPS $2.92-$3.12 vs est $3.01

* Q1 adj EPS $0.62 vs est $0.48

* Rev rises 5.1 pct to $885.6 mln

* Shares up 8 pct; touch life-time high

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Valspar Corp raised its full-year profit forecast and the paint and coatings maker said it will continue to increase prices to offset high raw material costs, sending its shares up to a life high.

Shares of the Minneapolis-based company were up 4 percent at $46.00 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a high of $47.55 earlier in the session.

Morningstar analyst Jeffrey Cannon said the stock was reacting to margin improvement and pricing actions that led to strong earnings.

The company will offset higher raw material costs with "new business, pricing when needed, substantial productivity and good management of expenses," Chief Executive Gary Hendrickson said on a conference call with analysts.

The CEO said the company was optimistic about demand from the United States and Latin American markets, but cautious on Europe and China.

Valspar now expects a full-year profit of $2.92 to $3.12 per share, up from its prior forecast of $2.87 to $3.07 per share.

Analysts, on an average, were expecting a full-year profit of $3.01 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the first quarter, net profit was $55.8 million, or 58 cents a share, up from $33.4 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, it earned 62 cents a share.

Sales rose 5.1 percent to $885.6 million.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 48 cents per share on revenue of $906.4 million.

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