Sherwin-Williams obviously doesn't want to paint itself into a corner. The 150-year-old paint and coatings maker is buying smaller rival Valspar for $11.3 billion, including debt. The companies expressed confidence that the deal would pass regulatory muster. Sherwin-Williams, though, has also crafted an escape route.
For an industry that's generally as boring as watching its main product dry, Sherwin-Williams has been on some kind of roll. Its shares have soared by 260 percent over the past five years, five times the performance of the S&P 500 Index over the same span, as the U.S. housing market rebounded. The stock also trades at 26 times earnings, suggesting yet more growth to come.