Grainger Provides Outlook At Analyst Meeting

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Narrows 2012 EPS Guidance of $10.55 to $10.75*
Issues 2013 EPS Guidance of $10.85 to $12.00

CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, today held its Annual Analyst Meeting in Lake Forest, Illinois.  Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Ryan hosted the event.  The meeting also included presentations from other Grainger leaders.

"Grainger is well positioned to meet the needs of businesses and institutions as they look to manage the MRO products used to maintain their facilities.  We continue to see significant potential to gain share in the global MRO market.  We have a strong, deliberate strategy and are managing the business for the long-term, generating solid returns for our shareholders and running a healthy business regardless of the economic conditions," said Mr. Ryan.

As part of the meeting, Grainger provided the following outlook for sales and earnings in 2012 and 2013: 

  • For the 2012 fourth quarter, the company is forecasting sales to increase 7 percent to 9 percent and expects earnings per share of $2.55 to $2.75.  
  • For the full year 2012, the company reiterated its sales growth forecast of 11 percent to 12 percent, and narrowed its earnings per share guidance to a new range of $10.55 to $10.75*, excluding the reserve adjustment related to the expected settlement with the Department of Justice announced on October 16, 2012.  This replaces the company's previous earnings per share guidance of $10.50 to $10.80 issued on July 18, 2012.
  • For the full year 2013, the company is forecasting sales growth of 2 percent to 8 percent and expects earnings per share of $10.85 to $12.00.

*Earnings per share guidance of $10.55 to $10.75 excludes $0.66 reserve adjustment related to the expected settlement with the Department of Justice announced on October 16, 2012.

Information presented at the Annual Analyst Meeting, including details supporting the company's guidance and longer term expectations, can be found in the archived webcast from the meeting available on Grainger's Investor Relations web site at

W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2011 sales of $8.1 billion is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations.

Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities law.  Forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies and objectives and are not historical facts.  They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "proposed", "continues to expect", "earnings per share guidance", "EPS guidance", "sales guidance", or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties, the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected.  The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and other reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and various factors that may affect it.

SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Media - Jan Tratnik , Senior Director, Corp. Communications & Public Affairs, O: +1-847-535-4339, M: +1-847-456-8807, or Joe Micucci, Director, Media Relations, O: +1-847-535-0879, M: +1-847-830-5328; Investors - Laura Brown, Senior Vice President, Communications & Investor Relations, O: +1-847-535-0409, M: +1-847-804-1383, or William Chapman, Senior Director, Investor Relations, O: +1-847-535-0881, M: +1-847-456-8647

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