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UPDATE 1-Sherwin-Williams raises first-quarter profit view
* Expects Q1 EPS $0.92-$0.95, up from $0.56-$0.74 stated in Jan
* Shares rise as much as 3 pct in early trade
April 9 (Reuters) - Top U.S. paints maker Sherwin-Williams Co raised its earnings outlook for the first quarter, helped mainly by strong sales at its retail business segment.
Paint Stores Group, which consists of 3,390 company-operated specialty paint stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, reported a 20 percent jump in sales benefiting from price and volume increases.
The company, which makes paints like Dutch Boy, Krylon, Minwax and Water Seal apart from its namesake brand, now expects first-quarter earnings of 92 cents to 95 cents a share. It earlier forecast earnings of 56 cents to 74 cents a share.
Analysts on average were expecting the company to post a profit of 72 cents for the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Last year Sherwin-Williams had earned 63 cents per share for the first quarter.
Sherwin-Williams shares were up 2 percent at $112.87 in morning trade on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. They earlier touched a high of $114.10.
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