UPDATE 1-Cost cuts help PPG Industries 3rd-qtr profit beats view

Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:43am EDT

* Q3 adjusted EPS $2.24 vs. Street view $2.20

* Sales down slightly to $3.85 bln, misses Street

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Chemicals producer PPG Industries Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as cost cuts helped offset nearly flat revenue.

For the third quarter, net income rose to $339 million, or $2.18 per share, from $311 million, or $1.96 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $2.24 per share. By that measure, analysts expected $2.20, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales slipped less than 1 percent to $3.85 billion. Analysts expected $3.91 billion.

Pittsburgh-based PPG cut its cost of sales 3 percent to $2.3 billion.

"Looking to the fourth quarter, we are heading into a seasonally slower period in most end-use markets and expect little change in the inconsistent performance of economies outside North America," Chief Executive Charles Bunch said in a statement.

During the quarter, PPG Industries sold its commodity chemicals business to Georgia Gulf Corp for $2.1 billion in a complex transaction. PPG Industries shareholders receive 50.5 percent of the shares of a new company to be formed, and Georgia Gulf shareholders get the rest.

The sale gives PPG Industries the cash to bolster its performance coatings and industrial coatings businesses, which make up more than one-half of sales.

PPG Industries also makes the popular Transitions line of eyeglasses.

Its shares, which closed Wednesday at $118.97, have gained 43 percent so far this year.

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