In a market downturn like we've seen you have to look at yield. Sherwin Williams has an excellent dividend yield on their common stock. It's a dividend that can continue to be paid too, unlike many companies who are cutting their dividends now.
Sherwin-Williams' shrinking exposure to the housing market: In the past year, Sherwin-Williams has acquired paint and coatings companies in India, Uruguay and Mexico. Recently, Sherwin announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Liquid Coatings Subsidiaries of Inchem Holdings of Inchem Holdings International Limited headquartered in Singapore. CEO Christopher M. Connor said “this acquisition reaffirms our commitment to growing globally through organic growth accelerated by strategically important acquisitions. Pointing to the fact that the US housing market is not the overwhelming driver of earnings at the company, despite what the market thinks. Every few months Sherwin does a deal that further shrinks its exposure to the US housing market, which allows it to buck the trend of “housing stocks” in the US.
While other developed economies sunk throughout the Financial Crisis, China took a hit in financial markets but the economy as a whole was largely undented. As a result, SHW's entry into Chinese markets serves as a good hedge against its traditionally reliant US operations.
SHW entered an exclusive multi-year supply agreement with Pinnacle in August 2009. In the upcoming years, Pinnacle's portfolio of properties will directly order paints, equipment, supplies, and other products from SHW. As a result, it is expected that SHW will benefit greatly from this deal.
In 2009, SHW agreed on entering an alliance with Scene Exchange, an online provider of linking car-owners who need repairs and repair shops. This alliance will help bring more customers to SHW, and allow SHW to further expand into paints for car bodies.