CHICAGO -- Grainger recently reported results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010. Third quarter sales of $1.9 billion increased 19 percent versus the 2009 third quarter.
Both quarters had the same number of selling days (64). Net earnings for the quarter increased 4 percent to $150 million versus $145 million in 2009.
Earnings per share increased 10 percent to $2.06 versus $1.88 for the third quarter of 2009. In the third quarter of 2009, Grainger obtained a majority ownership of MonotaRO Co., Ltd. in Japan, and recognized a one-time, non-operating gain of $47 million pre-tax, or $0.37 per share, from the revaluation of this investment.
The third quarter of 2010, similar to the first two quarters of the year, benefitted from a policy change for employee paid time off that contributed $0.07 per share. Excluding these unusual items from both periods, net earnings increased 25 percent and earnings per share were up 32 percent for the quarter.
"Our focus on the foundational elements of our business, including industry-leading product availability, outstanding customer service and our ability to leverage economies of scale, was responsible for our strong performance in the quarter," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan.