Paint-maker Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) is what Ohio wants to see more of: a home-grown success story.
Founded by Henry Sherwin and Endward Williamsright after the end of the Civil War, Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams has grown from a small outfit with just one sales representative into one of the world’s largest paint and coating producers in the world.
The company now employs more than 30,000 workers across nearly 4,000 paint stores, 200 automotive finishing branches and 100 “Spray Source” service centers located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Its brand reach is just as wide — in addition to its namesake products, SHW also controls names like Dutch Boy, Thompson’s WaterSeal, Krylon, Minwax, Weatherbeater and Columbia Paint & Coatings.
Sherwin-Williams has come roaring out of the financial crisis, growing revenues of around $7 billion in 2009 to almost $9 billion in 2011. The company’s steadily growing business also has helped fuel uninterrupted payouts since 1979 — as of June 2012, a 39-cent quarterly dividend good for a yield north of 1%.
The company’s Prospect Avenue headquarters are smack-dab in the heart of Cleveland — blocks away from Terminal Tower, and a short walk from Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, the respective homes of Major League Baseball’s Indians and the National Basketball Association’s Cavaliers.
Sherwin-Williams’ CEO also has been the consummate Ohioan. Though he was born in Florida, he was raised in Akron and graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School. He has served or currently is serving in various board posts for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Playhouse Square, Cleveland-based Eaton Corp. (NYSE:ETN) and Canton-based Diebold (NYSE:DBD).
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Kyle Woodley is the Assistant Editor of InvestorPlace.com and a proud son of Ohio. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleWoodley.