W.W. Grainger, Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. W.W. Grainger is a distributor of facilities maintenance products and provides services and related information used by businesses and institutions throughout North America.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $2.34 per share, a rise of 17.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $2.30. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $2.31 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 28.6% versus last year to $8.76.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 11 cents, coming in at profit of $2.22 a share versus the estimate of net income of $2.11 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.09 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 10% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.99 billion for the year, a rise of 11.3% from last year’s revenue of $7.18 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about W.W. Grainger with seven of 12 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 31.6% to $169.9 million ($2.34 a share) from $129.1 million ($1.73 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12.3% to $2 billion from $1.78 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 14.1%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 19.5% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 59.2% in the first quarter and 36.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

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).

Stock Price Performance: During August 16, 2011 to October 12, 2011, the stock price had risen $21.56 (15.7%) from $137.26 to $158.82. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 15, 2011 and June 23, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 4.2% (+$5.99) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 27, 2011 and October 3, 2011 when shares fell for five-straight days, falling 10.1% (-$16.12) over that span. Shares are up $22.51 (+16.5%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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