W.W. Grainger Inc. Earnings: Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE:GWW) reported its results for the fourth quarter. W.W. Grainger is a distributor of facilities maintenance products and provides services and related information used by businesses and institutions throughout North America.

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W.W. Grainger Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the industrial equipment wholesale company rose to $148.5 million ($2.04 per share) vs. $132.2 million ($1.83 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 12.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 13.7% to $2.08 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: GWW fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $2.10 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.08 billion.

Quoting Management: “This was an exceptional year for Grainger,” said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan. “Our team is producing consistently solid results with a strong focus on helping our customers improve the productivity of their businesses. We continue to see a long runway for growth and are investing aggressively in our proven growth drivers: product line expansion, sales force expansion, eCommerce, inventory services and international expansion.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 12.4%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 13.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 21.1% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 31.6%.

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 17 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 11 cents.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from $2.41 a share to $2.44 over the last thirty days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $9.01 per share, a rise from $8.97 ninety days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), Interline Brands, Inc. (NYSE:IBI), Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE), WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC), Watsco, Incorporated (NYSE:WSO), Houston Wire & Cable Co. (NASDAQ:HWCC), Hudson Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HDSN), Snap-on Incorporated (NYSE:SNA), and Record Electric SAECA (NYSE:REC).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com