W.W. Grainger Inc. recently reported results for its 2013 third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Sales of $2.4 billion increased 5% versus $2.3 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Net earnings for the third quarter increased 36% to $211 million versus $155 million in 2012. Earnings per share of $2.95 increased 37% versus $2.15 in 2012.
During the 2012 third quarter, the company recorded $76 million in pre-tax reserves, or $0.66 per share, consisting of a $70 million reserve for a settlement in principle to resolve pricing disclosure issues relating to government contracts with the General Services Administration (GSA) and United States Postal Service (USPS) and a $6 million reserve for resolving related tax, freight and miscellaneous billing issues. Excluding the effect of the reserves in the 2012 third quarter, net earnings for the quarter increased 4% and earnings per share increased 5%.
“Despite a challenging environment, our U.S. business delivered solid volume growth and earnings that were in line with our expectations,” said chairman, president and CEO Jim Ryan. “Our businesses outside of the United States remain affected by weaker macroeconomic conditions and unfavorable foreign exchange rates,” Ryan added. “We are continuing to aggressively invest for the future with $135 million in incremental growth spending planned for 2013 designed to build additional scale and accelerate our market share gains.”