Analyst upgrades Sherwin-Williams rating

NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst raised Sherwin-Williams rating and price target on Monday, in part because of the business opportunities that lie ahead.

The paint company's stock rose to an all-time high.

Nomura Equity Research's Aram Rubinson upgraded Sherwin-Williams to "Buy" from "Neutral" and boosted the price target to $200 from $170. In a client note, the analyst cited an 8 percent jump in the company's paint and wallpaper retail sales for January and February. While March's performance is more uncertain due to bad weather, Rubinson believes underlying trends are still strong.

The analyst said that Sherwin-Williams is a well-managed company that is improving its competitive position by making acquisitions. Because the company owns the production, marketing and selling process of its products, it can also control its own destiny more than the more traditional resellers do, he explained.

Sherwin-Williams is expected to report its first-quarter financial results on Thursday.

Shares of Sherwin-Williams Co. gained 36 cents to $171.10 in afternoon trading, showing a modest gain in a broadly declining market. The stock reached an-all time high of $174.87 earlier in the session.