Posted April 22, 2019

Grainger sales up 3 percent

Grainger reported sales of $2.79 billion in the first quarter increased 3.0 percent daily versus $2.76 billion in the 2018 first quarter.

On a constant currency basis, daily sales were up 4.0 percent and up 4.5 percent after normalizing for the impact of a prior year change in accounting estimate. The first quarter had one less selling day than the prior year period.

Net earnings of $253 million, or $4.48 per diluted share, compared to $232 million, or $4.07 per share, in the same period last year.

"In the first quarter of 2019, we continued to demonstrate our ability to drive profitable growth. While our sales performance was softer than expected, largely due to a weaker demand environment, our SG&A leverage helped drive strong earnings growth in the quarter," said DG Macpherson, chairman and chief executive officer. "We remain confident in our ability to gain share and generate SG&A leverage in 2019. We are reiterating our 2019 total company guidance ranges, including sales growth of 4 to 8.5 percent and operating margin of 12.2 percent to 13 percent."