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Grainger 1Q profit up, strength across regions

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – W.W. Grainger Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income climbed 13 percent, in part because of increased prices and strength across all regions.

The company, which sells power tools and other industrial equipment, also boosted the low end of its full-year earnings and revenue outlook ranges given its strong quarterly performance.

W.W. Grainger earned $211.8 million, or $2.94 per share, for the three months ended March 31. That’s up from $187.5 million, or $2.57 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, predicted earnings of $2.73 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue climbed 4 percent to $2.28 billion from $2.19 billion, bolstered by improved volume, higher prices, acquisitions and increased sales of seasonal products. Wall Street’s estimate was for $2.3 billion in revenue.

U.S. and Canadian sales rose 4 percent, as did sales for other businesses – which includes operations mostly in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Sales for the U.S. and Canada comprised about 89 percent of total sales for the quarter.

The Chicago company said that it now anticipates full-year earnings of $11.30 to $12 per share, up from $10.85 to $12 per share.

It also raised the low end of its revenue forecast. W.W. Grainger now expects revenue will rise 5 percent to 9 percent. Its prior outlook called for 3 percent to 9 percent growth. Based on 2012’s revenue of $8.95 billion, this implies $9.4 billion to $9.76 billion.

Analysts expect full-year earnings of $11.74 per share, on revenue of $9.59 billion.

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