Sales expected to grow 8 to 10 percent
Grainger, the large broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving government, businesses and institutions, last week told financial analysts that it expects a solid sales increase for the fourth quarter.
For the 2010 fourth quarter, the company is forecasting sales to increase 8% to 10%, and expects earnings per share for the quarter to be between $1.49 and $1.69, excluding unusual items.
•For the full year 2010, the company expects sales to increase 14% to 15%, and has narrowed its earnings per share forecast to be between $6.50 and $6.70, excluding unusual items. In October, the company had forecasted 2010 full year EPS of $6.40 to $6.70 on 14% to 15% sales growth.
•For the full year 2011, the company is forecasting sales to increase 5% to 9%, and expects earnings per share to be between $7.15 and $7.90.
The company also reviewed its long term operating margin objectives. Grainger expects to expand its operating margin by approximately 50 basis points per year in the context of mid to high single digit organic sales growth. The company established a new long term objective of increasing its operating margin to a range of 14% to 16%, up from the previous objective of 11% to 13%.