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Q1 2012 U.S. sales rise at Grainger

Grainger released a flood of information with its Q1/12 financial data, including the fact that daily sales in the United States rose 10.6% compared to Q1/11. Total company sales of $2.2 billion were up 16%.

Notable among these numbers was the company’s official “guidance” on sales and earnings-per-share. Previously, the company said sales growth would be 10% to 14%; now it expects 12% on the low end. Earlier, Grainger thought earnings for the 2012 calendar year would come in at $9.90 to $10.65 per share; now the range is higher, $10.40 to $10.80.

Grainger also said U.S. sales growth “was driven primarily by 9% volume growth and 3 percentage points from price,” with a 1% deduction taken for slow sales of winter products (due to warmer weather).

The company’s gross margin expanded from 44.04% in Q1/11 to 44.42%.

Grainger’s stock (GWW) closed Friday, April 23, at almost $220, that’s up 5.7% from the Dec. 30, 2011, close. In that same period the S&P 500 has advanced 9.6%.

Above: Some interesting information from Grainger’s 2011 Fact Book. Combined, Electrical & Lighting equaled 13% of the company’s total.

New info available on Grainger’s website:

On the company website, Grainger posted the Podcast and script of the Q1 broadcast-only conference call, as well as the official news release and supplemental data. The company also posted its 2012 Fact Book and 2011 annual report online.

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