Grainger Reports Record Second Quarter Results

W.W. Grainger, Inc., (NYSE: GWW) reported record results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013. Sales of $2.4 billion increased 6 percent versus $2.2 billion during that period and the company’s net earnings for the quarter increased 14 percent to $218 million versus $191 million in 2012. Earnings per share of $3.03 increased 15 percent versus $2.63 in 2012.

Grainger’s gross profit margin increased 0.5 percentage point to 44.0 percent versus 43.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, primarily driven by Canada and the its other businesses. Company operating expenses in the quarter increased 5 percent driven primarily by payroll and benefits and included an incremental $37 million in spending to fund the company’s growth programs.

Company operating earnings of $350 million for the second quarter increased 11 percent versus the prior year. The increase in operating earnings was driven by higher sales, improved gross profit margins and positive expense leverage. Sales for Grainger’s U.S. segment increased 7 percent in the second quarter versus the prior year, while sales in Canada increased 3 percent compared to last year.

“Our solid performance reflects the continued focus, dedication and hard work of our Grainger team,” said Jim Ryan, chairman, president and CEO, in a press release. “We will continue to invest in helping our customers be successful by adding more products, sales people, inventory management solutions and e-commerce capabilities to further our leading position in the MRO industry.”

Grainger is on track to post a sales increase of 5 to 8 percent this year and earnings per share of $11.40 to $12.00. The company’s previous 2013 guidance issued on April 16, 2013, was sales growth of 5 to 9 percent and earnings per share of $11.30 to $12.00.

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