UPDATE 3-PPG shares hit all-time high on bullish EPS forecast

* Forecasts Q1 EPS of $1.30 to $1.35

* Street expects Q1 EPS of $1.12

* Shares rise 4.9 percent to all-time high
(Adds CEO details; updates stock)

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) – Coatings maker PPG
Industries Inc (PPG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) forecast first-quarter earnings well
above Wall Street’s expectations, sending its shares up nearly
5 percent to an all-time high.

PPG supplies the building blocks for paints and other
industrial coatings as well as energy-efficient skyscraper
glass. It also makes Transitions lenses for eye glasses. Its
shares were pummeled during the recession as slimmer demand
meant a steep drop in construction.

That trend has slowly begun to turn around, and PPG Chief
Executive Charles Bunch said cost cuts and the “continued
recovery in global industrial activity levels” are helping
first-quarter margins.

For the first quarter, the company expects earnings of
$1.30 per share to $1.35 per share.

That is far above the $1.12 per share analysts expect,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Bunch said he expects the factors that helped the first
quarter to continue in the second quarter. Higher supply costs
remain a concern, though, he added.

The Pittsburgh-based company said it may need to implement
“nontraditional pricing actions” in the second quarter.

That would include raising prices for products that have
not seen price increases for some time or where prices were
just raised, a PPG spokesman said.

The company’s stock rose $4.45, or 4.9 percent, to $95.04.
PPG shares have never before touched that level.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and Gunna Dickson)

UPDATE 3-PPG shares hit all-time high on bullish EPS forecast