Grainger posted increases in sales, earnings and profits in the third quarter, prompting the nation’s top industrial distributor to again raise its outlook heading into the final three months of the year.
The company’s net sales eclipsed $3.9 billion, a nearly 17% increase over the $3.4 billion in the previous third quarter. Gross profit climbed more than 21% to $1.5 billion, and operating earnings increased nearly 38% to $603 million.
Diluted earnings per share soared more than 46% over that span — from $5.65 to $8.27 — while both operating margin and gross profit margin also edged up.
"The third quarter performance reflects our focused execution against our long-term strategy and ability to serve customers well in this demand environment," Grainger Chairman and CEO D.G. Macpherson said in a statement. "Our teams are driving impressive results across both business segments.”
The company said its High-Touch Solutions segment saw sales increase 19.4% on a daily basis compared to the third quarter of 2021; officials credited higher prices and “continued volume growth” across its geographic footprint. In its Endless Assortment division, which includes online sellers Zoro and MonotaRO, sales rose 8.6% on a daily basis year-over-year.
Grainger tightened its sales forecast for the full year and raised its expectations for profits and earnings. The company now expects $15.1 billion to $15.2 billion in annual net sales — the previous window was $15 billion to $15.2 billion — while its gross profit margin forecast increased from 37.2%-37.5% to 38%-38.1%.
Grainger now anticipates full-year diluted earnings per share of $29.10 to $29.70, up from the $27.25 to $28.75 projected following its second-quarter earnings.