Grainger Reports Record Results for Year Ended December 31, 2012

Company Reaffirms 2013 Earnings Per Share Guidance of $10.85 to $12.00

2012 Highlights

-Sales of $9.0 billion, up 11 percent

- Reported EPS of $9.52, up 5 percent

-Adjusted EPS of $10.43, up 15 percent

-Operating cash flow of $816 million, up 9 percent

-Named to 2013 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list

Jan 24, 2013, 08:00 ET from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today reported record results for the year ended December 31, 2012.  Sales of $9.0 billion increased 11 percent versus $8.1 billion in 2011.  Net earnings of $690 million increased 5 percent versus $658 million in 2011.  Earnings per share of $9.52 increased 5 percent versus $9.07 in 2011.  The years 2012 and 2011 included the following items:

Twelve Months Ended

December 31, 

2012

2011

% Change

Diluted Earnings Per Share as reported:

$9.52

$9.07

5%

   GSA/USPS settlement

0.66

   Restructuring

0.18

   Alliance impairment

0.04

   Charge for U.S. branch closures

0.03

0.16

   Settlement of prior year tax reviews

(0.12)

   Gain on sale of joint venture

(0.07)

         Subtotal

0.91

(0.03)

Diluted Earnings Per Share as adjusted:

$10.43

$9.04

15%

"It was a record year for Grainger," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan.  "Despite a slowing of business activity in the back half of the year, particularly in late December when uncertainty surrounding the economy and the fiscal cliff virtually paralyzed many businesses and government institutions, we achieved solid results while continuing to invest for future growth.  For the full year, we invested an additional $70 million in expanding our product line and sales force, enhancing eCommerce capabilities, increasing inventory management services and expanding our international presence," Ryan added.

Ryan concluded, "As we look forward to 2013, we remain confident in our strategy and our ability to provide the best service and gain share in the MRO industry.  While we were disappointed in our earnings leverage for the quarter, we are encouraged by the strong sales rebound we've seen thus far in January, despite a very difficult comparison with 2012."   The company reiterated its 2013 earnings per share guidance of $10.85 to $12.00 and raised its 2013 sales guidance to a new range of 3 to 9 percent growth.  The company's previous 2013 sales guidance was 2 to 8 percent growth issued on November 14, 2012.  The increase in sales guidance reflects the December 31, 2012, acquisition of Techni-Tool, Inc. which had sales in 2011 of $88 million.

During 2012, Grainger reached the following milestones relative to the company's growth drivers:

  • eCommerce:  Posted $2.7 billion in eCommerce sales, representing 30 percent of total company sales and an increase of 23 percent versus the prior year.
  • Sales Force Expansion:  Added 160 new sales representatives and contributed approximately 1 percentage point to company sales growth for the year.
  • Inventory Management:  Increased the number of U.S. customer KeepStock installations by 30 percent, ending the year at approximately 40,000 installations.
  • Product Line Expansion:  Added more than 80,000 new products to the iconic Grainger U.S. catalog, bringing the total number of products in the 2012 printed catalog to more than 413,000.
  • International:  Surpassed $1 billion in sales in Canada and expanded the company's presence in Latin America by entering Brazil with the acquisition of AnFreixo.

For the full year, the company generated $816 million in operating cash flow versus $746 million in 2011.  Capital expenditures for the year were $250 million versus $197 million in 2011, driven primarily by investments to expand the distribution center network in North America.  The company also used cash to fund two acquisitions.  For the full year, Grainger bought back approximately 1.7 million shares of stock for $341 million and has 5.3 million shares remaining under the current repurchase authorization.  Dividends paid in 2012 totaled $220 million.  For the full year, Grainger returned $561 million in cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. 

2012 Fourth Quarter

Sales for the 2012 fourth quarter of $2.2 billion increased 7 percent versus $2.1 billion in the 2011 fourth quarter.  Net earnings of $156 million increased 5 percent versus $148 million in 2011.  Fourth quarter earnings per share of $2.17 increased 6 percent versus $2.04 in 2011.   The 2012 and 2011 fourth quarters included the following items:

Three Months Ended

December 31,

2012

2011

% Change

Diluted Earnings Per Share as reported:

$ 2.17

$2.04

6%

   Restructuring

0.18

   Alliance impairment

0.04

   Charge for U.S. branch closures

0.03

0.16

   Gain on sale of joint venture

(0.07)

         Subtotal

0.25

0.09

Diluted Earnings Per Share as adjusted:

$2.42

$2.13

14%

During the quarter, the company incurred restructuring charges of $0.18 per share primarily related to improving the long-term performance of the businesses in Europe, India and China and $0.03 per share related to branch closures in the United States.  The company also recorded an impairment charge of $0.04 per share related to Alliance Energy Solutions, an acquisition completed in November 2009.  These items combined in the 2012 fourth quarter represented a $0.25 reduction to earnings per share, resulting in adjusted EPS of $2.42.  The 2011 fourth quarter included a $0.16 per share charge from the closure of 27 branches in the U.S business, and a $0.07 per share gain from the sale of the company's investment in MRO Korea.  These two items combined in the 2011 fourth quarter represented a $0.09 net reduction to earnings per share, resulting in adjusted EPS of $2.13.  Excluding the items noted above from both years, net earnings for the quarter increased 12 percent and earnings per share increased 14 percent versus the prior year.

There were 64 selling days in the 2012 fourth quarter versus 63 in the 2011 quarter.  On a daily basis, sales increased 6 percent with 6 percent daily sales growth in October, 8 percent in November and 2 percent in December.  The 6 percent daily sales growth for the quarter consisted of 3 percentage points from price, 2 percentage points from volume, 1 percentage point from Hurricane Sandy-related sales, 1 percentage point from acquisitions, offset by a 1 percentage point decline attributable to the timing of the December holidays.  As part of its customer service promise, Grainger was open for business on Monday, December 24th and Monday, December 31st.  Although sales activity was light on these two days, they are included in the 64 selling days for the quarter and the 20 selling days for the month of December.  In addition to the timing of the holidays, concerns regarding the fiscal cliff led many businesses and institutions to implement extended facility shutdowns and employee furloughs in late December and early January.  

Company operating earnings of $258 million for the 2012 fourth quarter increased 17 percent versus $221 million in the 2011 quarter.  Excluding the items noted in the table above from both years, company operating earnings increased 18 percent.  The increase in operating earnings was driven by the 7 percent sales increase and operating expense leverage as expenses grew at a slower rate than sales.  Net earnings and earnings per share for the 2012 fourth quarter reflected a higher tax rate versus the prior year.  The effective tax rate for the quarter was 37.6 percent versus 32.9 percent in the 2011 fourth quarter.  The lower tax rate in 2011 is discussed later in this release.

The company has two reportable business segments, the United States and Canada, which represented approximately 88 percent of company sales for the quarter.  The remaining operating units located primarily in Asia, Europe, and Latin America are included in Other Businesses and are not reportable segments.  

United States

Sales in the United States segment increased 5 percent, 4 percent on a daily basis, in the 2012 fourth quarter versus the prior year.  The 4 percent daily sales growth was driven by 3 percentage points from price, 1 percentage point from volume, 1 percentage point from Hurricane Sandy-related sales, offset by a 1 percentage point decline from the timing of the holidays in December as noted above.  Daily sales increased 4 percent in October, 6 percent in November and declined 1 percent in December.  The manufacturing, commercial and government customer end markets contributed to the sales growth in the quarter.

Operating earnings for the United States segment increased 17 percent in the quarter driven by the 5 percent sales growth, higher gross profit margins and positive expense leverage.  Gross profit margins for the quarter increased 50 basis points driven by price inflation exceeding product cost inflation, partially offset by negative customer mix.  Positive expense leverage was driven by the 5 percent sales growth versus a 1 percent increase in operating expenses. Excluding $10 million in restructuring and impairment charges related to the United States in the 2012 fourth quarter and $18 million in charges related to branch closures in the 2011 fourth quarter, operating earnings for the United States segment increased 12 percent.

Canada

Sales in the 2012 fourth quarter at Acklands-Grainger increased 14 percent, 13 percent on a daily basis.  The 13 percent daily sales growth consisted of 8 percentage points from volume,  4 percentage points from foreign exchange, 1 percentage point from price, 1 percentage point from sales of seasonal products, offset by a 1 percentage point decline from December holiday timing.  In local currency, sales increased 11 percent, 9 percent on a daily basis.  Daily sales in local currency increased 12 percent in October, 8 percent in November and 5 percent in December.  The sales increase for the quarter in Canada was led by strong growth to customers in the commercial, construction, oil and gas, and utilities end markets.

Operating earnings in Canada increased 2 percent in the 2012 fourth quarter.  This increase was driven by favorable foreign exchange, modest expense leverage, partially offset by lower gross profit margins.  The gross profit margin in Canada declined 150 basis points versus the prior year.  The decline was primarily due to an unfavorable customer and product mix.

Other Businesses

Sales for the Other Businesses, which includes operations primarily in Asia, Europe and Latin America, increased 16 percent, 14 percent on a daily basis, for the 2012 fourth quarter versus the prior year.  This increase was primarily due to strong revenue growth in Japan and the incremental sales from the acquired business in Brazil.  Excluding Brazil, daily sales for the Other Businesses increased 10 percent. 

The Other Businesses posted a $10.4 million operating loss in the 2012 fourth quarter versus a $5 million profit in the 2011 fourth quarter.  During the quarter, the company announced structural changes to the businesses in Europe, India and China to improve long-term performance, resulting in $13.7 million in restructuring charges.  Excluding these charges, the Other Businesses would have generated $3.3 million in operating earnings in the 2012 fourth quarter driven by the businesses in Japan and Mexico. This was partially offset by modest operating losses from the businesses in Brazil and Europe, before the restructuring charges.

Other

Other income and expense was a net expense of $5 million in the 2012 fourth quarter versus net income of $5 million in the 2011 fourth quarter.  In 2011, other income and expense included a $8 million pre-tax gain on the sale of Grainger's 49 percent ownership in the MRO Korea joint venture that was recognized in the 2011 fourth quarter. 

For the quarter, the effective tax rate in 2012 was 37.6 percent versus 32.9 percent in 2011.  The fourth quarter of 2011 included a benefit from the tax law change in Japan.   For the year, the effective tax rate in 2012 was 37.5 percent versus 36.6 percent in 2011.  In addition to the 2011 fourth quarter favorability, the company settled various tax reviews providing further benefit to the 2011 effective tax rate.  Excluding these benefits in 2011, the effective tax rate was 38.1 percent. The effective tax rate in 2012 benefited primarily from a lower blended state tax rate.  The company is currently projecting an effective tax rate of 37.3 to 37.7 percent for the year 2013.

Cash Flow

Operating cash flow was $240 million in the 2012 fourth quarter versus $186 million in the 2011 fourth quarter.  The company used cash from operations to fund capital expenditures of $95 million in the quarter versus $66 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.  In the 2012 fourth quarter, Grainger returned $102 million to shareholders through $58 million in dividends and $44 million to buy back 228,000 shares of stock.  

W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2012 sales of $9.0 billion is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations.

Visit www.grainger.com/investor to view information about the company, including a history of daily sales by segment and a podcast regarding 2012 fourth quarter results. The Grainger Industrial Supply website also includes more information on Grainger's proven growth drivers, including product line expansion, sales force expansion, eCommerce, inventory services and international expansion.

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 "projecting", "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.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS (Unaudited)

(In thousands, except for per share amounts)

Three Months Ended December 31,

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

2012

2011

2012

2011

Net sales

$

2,226,120

$

2,076,904

$

8,950,045

$

8,078,185

Cost of merchandise sold

1,256,595

1,171,119

5,033,885

4,567,393

Gross profit

969,525

905,785

3,916,160

3,510,792

Warehousing, marketing and administrative expenses

711,087

684,292

2,785,035

2,458,363

Operating earnings

258,438

221,493

1,131,125

1,052,429

Other income and (expense)

Interest income

756

508

2,660

2,068

Interest expense

(5,360)

(2,654)

(16,078)

(9,091)

Equity in net income of unconsolidated entity

53

314

Gain on sale of investment in unconsolidated entity

7,639

7,639

Other non-operating income and (expense)

(7)

(961)

82

(1,832)

Total other income and (expense)

(4,611)

4,585

(13,336)

(902)

Earnings before income taxes 

253,827

226,078

1,117,789

1,051,527

Income taxes

95,341

74,370

418,940

385,115

Net earnings

158,486

151,708

698,849

666,412

Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interest

2,219

3,224

8,968

7,989

Net earnings attributable to W.W. Grainger, Inc.

$

156,267

$

148,484

$

689,881

$

658,423

Earnings per share

  -Basic

$

2.21

$

2.08

$

9.71

$

9.26

  -Diluted

$

2.17

$

2.04

$

9.52

$

9.07

Average number of shares outstanding

  -Basic

69,557

69,895

69,812

69,691

  -Diluted

70,809

71,385

71,182

71,176

Diluted Earnings Per Share

Net earnings as reported

$

156,267

$

148,484

$

689,881

$

658,423

Earnings allocated to participating securities

(2,705)

(2,724)

(12,181)

(12,654)

Net earnings available to common shareholders

$

153,562

$

145,760

$

677,700

$

645,769

Weighted average shares adjusted for dilutive securities

70,809

71,385

71,182

71,176

Diluted earnings per share

$

2.17

$

2.04

$

9.52

$

9.07

 

 

SEGMENT RESULTS (Unaudited)

(In thousands of dollars)

Three Months Ended

December 31,

Twelve Months Ended

 December 31,

2012

2011

2012

2011

Sales

United States

$

1,706,283

$

1,622,761

$

6,925,842

$

6,501,343

Canada

280,339

245,140

1,105,782

992,823

Other Businesses

263,858

226,898

1,006,762

647,666

Intersegment sales

(24,360)

(17,895)

(88,341)

(63,647)

Net sales to external customers

$

2,226,120

$

2,076,904

$

8,950,045

$

8,078,185

Operating earnings

United States

$

276,021

$

236,458

$

1,132,722

$

1,066,324

Canada

29,910

29,388

127,412

107,582

Other Businesses

(10,448)

5,408

20,289

30,984

Unallocated expense

(37,045)

(49,761)

(149,298)

(152,461)

Operating earnings

$

258,438

$

221,493

$

1,131,125

$

1,052,429

Company operating margin

11.6

%

10.7

%

12.6

%

13.0

%

ROIC* for Company

29.1

%

31.9

%

ROIC* for United States

45.8

%

46.9

%

ROIC* for Canada

22.5

%

20.8

%

*The GAAP financial statements are the source for all amounts used in the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) calculation. ROIC is calculated using operating earnings divided by net working assets (a 5-point average for the year). Net working assets are working assets minus working liabilities defined as follows: working assets equal total assets less cash equivalents (5-point average of $220.8 million), deferred taxes, and investments in unconsolidated entities, plus the LIFO reserve (5-point average of $367.1 million). Working liabilities are the sum of trade payables, accrued compensation and benefits, accrued contributions to employees' profit sharing plans, and accrued expenses.

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited) Preliminary (In thousands of dollars)

At December 31,

Assets

2012

2011

Cash and cash equivalents (1)

$

452,063

$

335,491

Accounts receivable – net

940,020

888,697

Inventories

1,301,935

1,268,647

Prepaid expenses and other assets

150,655

154,655

Deferred income taxes

55,967

47,410

Total current assets

2,900,640

2,694,900

Property, buildings and equipment – net

1,144,573

1,060,295

Deferred income taxes

51,536

100,830

Goodwill

543,670

509,183

Other assets and intangibles – net

374,179

350,854

Total assets

$

5,014,598

$

4,716,062

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

Short-term debt

$

79,071

$

119,970

Current maturities of long-term debt (2)

18,525

221,539

Trade accounts payable

428,782

477,648

Accrued compensation and benefits

165,450

207,010

Accrued contributions to employees' profit sharing plans

170,434

159,950

Accrued expenses

204,800

178,652

Income taxes payable

12,941

23,156

Total current liabilities

1,080,003

1,387,925

Long-term debt (2)

467,048

175,055

Deferred income taxes and tax uncertainties

119,280

100,218

Employment-related and other non-current liabilities (3)

230,901

328,585

Shareholders' equity (4)

3,117,366

2,724,279

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

5,014,598

$

4,716,062

(1)

Cash and cash equivalents increased $117 million, or 35%, primarily due to strong operating cash flow.

(2)

The decrease in current maturities of long-term debt and the corresponding increase in long-term debt were due to the refinancing of an existing bank term loan.

(3)

Accrued employment-related benefits decreased $98 million, or 30%, primarily due to amendment changes to the company's retiree benefit plan resulting in a lower liability.

(4)

Common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2012 was 69,478,495 shares as compared with 69,962,852 shares at December 31, 2011.

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) Preliminary (In thousands of dollars)

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,

2012

2011

Cash flows from operating activities:

Net earnings

$

698,849

$

666,412

Provision for losses on accounts receivable

9,504

4,761

Deferred income taxes and tax uncertainties

12,343

1,666

Depreciation and amortization

159,049

149,200

Stock-based compensation

55,500

54,020

Gain on sale of investment of unconsolidated entity

(7,639)

Change in operating assets and liabilities – net of business acquisitions

Accounts receivable

(45,953)

(85,083)

Inventories

(14,872)

(219,680)

Prepaid expenses and other assets

8,346

(24,228)

Trade accounts payable

(54,314)

86,395

Other current liabilities

(58,673)

50,718

Current income taxes payable

(9,349)

16,827

Accrued employment-related benefits cost

45,795

45,680

Other – net

9,970

7,059

Net cash provided by operating activities

816,195

746,108

Cash flows from investing activities:

Additions to property, buildings and equipment

(249,860)

(196,942)

Proceeds from sale of property, buildings and equipment

8,530

7,278

Net cash paid for business acquisitions

(64,808)

(359,296)

Other – net

482

13,892

Net cash used in investing activities

(305,656)

(535,068)

Cash flows from financing activities:

Borrowings under lines of credit

161,160

218,885

Payments against lines of credit

(205,006)

(194,325)

Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt

300,000

172,464

Payments of long-term debt and commercial paper

(219,950)

(179,296)

Proceeds from stock options exercised

72,084

84,337

Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation

57,885

52,098

Purchase of treasury stock

(340,532)

(151,082)

Cash dividends paid

(220,077)

(180,527)

Net cash used in financing activities

(394,436)

(177,446)

Exchange rate effect on cash and cash equivalents

469

(11,557)

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

116,572

22,037

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

335,491

313,454

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

452,063

$

335,491

 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION - CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (Unaudited)

(In thousands of dollars)

The company supplemented the reporting of financial information determined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial measures, which the company refers to as "adjusted" measures, including adjusted operating earnings, adjusted segment operating earnings, adjusted net earnings and adjusted diluted earnings per share.  Adjusted measures exclude items that may not be indicative of core operating results.  The company believes that these non-GAAP measures provide meaningful information to assist shareholders in understanding financial results and assessing prospects for future performance.  Management believes adjusted operating earnings, adjusted net earnings and adjusted diluted earnings per share are important indicators of operations because they exclude items that may not be indicative of our core operating results, and provide a better baseline for analyzing trends in our underlying businesses.  Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies' non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names.  These adjusted financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for reported results.  These non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of operations that, when viewed with GAAP results, provide a more complete understanding of the business.  The company strongly encourages investors and shareholders to review company financial statements and publicly-filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure.

The reconciliation provided below reconciles the non-GAAP financial measures adjusted net earnings, adjusted diluted earnings per share, adjusted operating earnings, and adjusted segment operating earnings with GAAP financial measures:

 

Three Months Ended

December 31,

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,

2012

2011

%

2012

2011

%

Net earnings reported

$

156,267

$

148,484

5

%

$

689,881

$

658,423

5

%

GSA/USPS settlement

 

47,310

Restructuring

12,550

12,550

Alliance impairment

3,030

3,030

Charge for U.S. branch closures

2,170

11,430

2,170

11,430

Settlement of prior year tax reviews

(8,580)

Gain on sale of joint venture

(4,730)

(4,730)

Subtotal

17,750

6,700

65,060

(1,880)

Net earnings adjusted

$

174,017

$

155,184

12

%

$

754,941

$

656,543

15

%

Diluted earnings per share reported

$

2.17

$

2.04

6

%

$

9.52

$

9.07

5

%

GSA/USPS settlement

 

0.66

Restructuring

0.18

0.18

Alliance impairment

0.04

0.04

Charge for U.S. branch closures

0.03

0.16

0.03

0.16

Settlement of prior year tax reviews

(0.12)

Gain on sale of joint venture

(0.07)

(0.07)

Subtotal

0.25

0.09

0.91

(0.03)

Diluted earnings per share adjusted

$

2.42

$

2.13

14

%

$

10.43

$

9.04

15

%

 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION - CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (Unaudited) (In thousands of dollars)

Three Months Ended

December 31,

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,

2012

2011

%

2012

2011

%

Operating earnings reported

$

258,438

$

221,493

17

%

$

1,131,125

$

1,052,429

7

%

GSA/USPS settlement

76,000

Restructuring

16,050

16,050

Alliance impairment

4,850

4,850

Charge for U.S. branch closures

3,470

18,480

3,470

18,480

Subtotal

24,370

18,480

100,370

18,480

Operating earnings adjusted

$

282,808

$

239,973

18

%

$

1,231,495

$

1,070,909

15

%

Segment operating earnings adjusted

United States

286,081

254,938

1,218,782

1,084,804

Canada

29,910

29,388

127,412

107,582

Other Businesses

3,222

5,408

33,959

30,984

Unallocated expense

(36,405)

(49,761)

(148,658)

(152,461)

Segment operating earnings adjusted

$

282,808

$

239,973

18

%

$

1,231,495

$

1,070,909

15

%

Company operating margin adjusted

12.7

%

11.6

%

13.8

%

13.3

%

ROIC* for Company

31.5

%

32.4

%

ROIC* for United States

48.9

%

47.6

%

ROIC* for Canada

22.5

%

20.8

%

*Adjusted ROIC is calculated as defined on page 9, excluding the items adjusting operating earnings as noted above.

 

SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.



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