Distributors

Grainger Expects Earnings, Revenue Growth in 2022

GraingerCHICAGO — Grainger today reported results for the 2021 fourth quarter and full year. Sales of $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter 2021 increased 14.2%, and were up 16.9% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter 2020. For the full year, sales of $13.0 billion increased 10.4%, up 12.4% on an organic, daily, constant currency basis compared to the prior year. Customer demand continued to be very strong, fueling double-digit revenue growth in both segments.

“The second year of pandemic impacts brought a unique set of challenges in 2021. The Grainger team successfully navigated these challenges by helping our customers run their businesses effectively and stay safe. The team’s relentless focus on doing the right things, the right way, allowed us to deliver on our operational and financial expectations for the year” said DG Macpherson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to continuing to support our customers in 2022 and are confident in the path ahead.”

(1) Results exclude restructuring and income tax items as shown in the supplemental information of this release. Reconciliations of the adjusted measures reflected in this table to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are provided in the supplemental information of this release.

Revenue
For the fourth quarter 2021, total company sales increased 14.2% and 16.9% on daily, constant currency basis versus the prior year. In the High-Touch Solutions N.A. segment, sales were up 14.7% and up 16.3% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the prior year fourth quarter as investments in marketing, merchandising, and on-site services, coupled with a strong demand environment, continued to drive volume growth in nearly all customer segments. In the Endless Assortment segment, sales were up 13.4% and up 20.6% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2020, as the segment continued to acquire new customers and grow sales with existing customers.

For the full year 2021, total company sales increased 10.4% versus the full year 2020. Excluding the revenues of the divested Fabory and China businesses from the prior year results, and removing the impact from foreign currency, daily sales increased 12.4% versus the prior year.

Gross Profit Margin
Gross profit margin for the fourth quarter 2021 was 37.3%, compared to 34.9% in 2020, up 240 basis points. For the full year 2021, gross profit margin was 36.2%, up 30 basis points versus the prior year 2020 gross profit margin of 35.9%.

The higher gross profit margins for both the fourth quarter and full year were driven by slightly favorable price / cost spread, as well as product mix improvement as sales of core, non-pandemic products increased throughout the year. Both variances in gross profit margin were impacted by the timing of pandemic inventory adjustments, which had a positive impact on the fourth quarter 2021 and negative impact on the full year.

Earnings
Fourth quarter
Reported and adjusted operating earnings for the fourth quarter 2021 of $417 million were up 51.5% versus reported earnings of $275 million in 2020, resulting in operating margin of 12.4%, up 305 basis points over the prior year quarter. On an adjusted basis, operating earnings for the quarter were up 41.2% versus $295 million in the fourth quarter 2020. Operating margin in the quarter increased 240 basis points on an adjusted basis over the prior year quarter, driven by meaningful gross profit expansion.

Reported and adjusted earnings per share of $5.44 in the fourth quarter were up 74% versus reported earnings per share of $3.12 and up 49% versus adjusted earnings per share of $3.66 in 2020. The increase in earnings per share was driven primarily by the higher operating earnings in the quarter and a lower number of shares outstanding.

Full year
For the full year 2021, reported and adjusted operating earnings of $1.5 billion were up 51.8% versus prior year reported operating earnings of $1.0 billion, and resulted in 2021 full year reported and adjusted operating margin of 11.9%, up 325 basis points over 2020. On an adjusted basis, which excludes the Fabory divestiture and any other restructuring items from the prior year, 2021 operating earnings were up 16.6% versus $1.3 billion in 2020 and resulted in 65 basis points improvement in adjusted operating margin for the year. During the year, the company achieved 35 basis points of SG&A leverage on strong revenue growth.

Reported and adjusted 2021 earnings per share of $19.84 increased 55% versus reported earnings per share of $12.82, and was up 23% versus adjusted 2020 earnings per share of $16.18. Similar to the fourth quarter, the year-over-year increase in earnings per share was driven primarily by the higher operating earnings in 2021 and a lower number of shares outstanding.

Tax Rate
On a reported basis, for the fourth quarter 2021, the tax rate was 24.8% compared to 28.3% in 2020. For the full year 2021, the reported tax rate was 25.0% versus 20.3% in 2020. The 2020 fourth quarter and full year reported tax rates were both impacted by the 2020 tax effects of the divested Fabory business.

On an adjusted basis, for the fourth quarter 2021, the tax rate was 24.8% compared to 23.0% in 2020. The company’s full year 2021 adjusted tax rate was 25.0% versus 25.3% in 2020.

Cash Flow
Operating cash flow for the quarter was $213 million versus $336 million in the fourth quarter 2020, a decrease of 37% compared to the same period last year. The decrease was primarily due to increased inventory investments to ensure product availability and protect customer service.

For the full year 2021, the company generated operating cash flow of $937 million, a decrease of 17% versus 2020, driven by a significant uptick in accounts receivable on strong December sales and an inventory build late in the fourth quarter to meet expected customer demand.

The company used the cash generated to invest in the business through capital expenditures of $255 million and returned cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. In 2021, Grainger returned $1,052 million to shareholders through share repurchases of $695 million, for approximately 1.6 million shares, and dividends of $357 million.

2022 Company Guidance
The following 2022 guidance is being provided:

Tagged with ,

Comment on the story

Your email address will not be published.