Grainger Continues To Soar, Up 3% On Earnings Report (GWW)
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW) shares are significantly higher in a weak tape today, gaining more than 2% after the industrial company reported better than expected earnings this morning, and raised its guidance for 2011.
The Ilinois-based company reported first-quarter net income of $158 million, or $2.18 per share. This compared to estimates of $1.80 per share. Revenues came in at $1.88 billion, versus estimates of $1.85 billion.
The company reported earnings went nearly 60% from a year ago, when it earned $1.31 per share in the first quarter.
The company also said that it expects to earn $8.10-$8.60 per share in 2011, up from its prior view of $7.15 to $7.90.
"This was an exceptionally strong quarter for Grainger. Our investment in growth is paying off as demonstrated by our strong sales and earnings performance. Expanding product lines, providing new services that complement our products, investing further in eCommerce and increasing our sales force, are all contributing to gaining market share in North America. In addition, we're continuing to push into high-growth, emerging markets and the yield on these investments is improving," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan. "Given our position of strength and MRO market leadership, we intend to more aggressively fund similar investments during the remainder of the year to further accelerate our ability to gain share in this consolidating market." Ryan added, "As a result of our outstanding first quarter performance and continued economic strengthening, we are raising our 2011 sales growth guidance to a range of 7 to 10 percent and our earnings per share guidance to a range of $8.10 to $8.60."
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