ID's Top 5 Of The Week

Quarterly financial earnings news from several Big 50 companies were big items this week, as many companies have been releasing their sales and profit numbers during this one month period after the new year.

Quarterly financial earnings news from several Big 50 List companies were big items this week, as many companies have been releasing their sales and profit numbers during this one month period after the new year. Look for that to continue next week and into February. Here's this week's top 5 news items.

Grainger Q4 Profit Down, Cuts 2015 Outlook: No. 3 on our Big 50 List, Grainger's challenging year finished with a 6 percent year-over-year Q4 sales increase, while profit declined 5 percent. Yearly sales increased 6 percent to $10 billion, while 2014 profit was 1 percent above 2013's. Operating cash flow was down $26 million in 2014 to $960 million as gross expendiptures were up 43 percent to $387 million. Sales in the U.S. during Q4 were up 6 percent. Grainger said it now expects 3 to 7 percent sales growth in 2015, down from the 5 to 9 percent growth it forecasted in November.

Loctite Spends Entire Ad Budget On Super Bowl Spot (Video): A major adhesive, sealant, and surface treatment manufacturer created buzz this week when West Lake, Ohio-based Loctite revealed it has used its entire 2015 advertising budget on a single Super Bowl commercial, to be seen Sunday evening. Loctite is one of more than a dozen companies buying a Super Bowl commercial for the first time. With an estimated 184 million people expected to watch the big game, Loctite thinks its worth making a high-stakes bet. The cost of a 30-second commercial this year is $4.5 million. "Our goal is to make Loctite famous," said Loctite brand director Pierre Tannoux.

Applied Industrial Reports Big Q2 Sales Gain: The No. 13 company on our Big 50 List reported an 18.9 percent year-over-year sales increase to $691.7 million, while net income rose 14.7 percent to $29.7 million. In the six month period, sales at Applied were up 17.4 percent, and net income was up 11.4 percent.

Agreement Made On Key Issue In Port Labor Dispute: In the seemingly never-ending standoff between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association finally made some headway this week, reaching an agreement on the maintenance of cargo chassis. It was seen as a key hurdle to clear in resolving months of chronic cargo backups hampering ports along 29 West Coast locations.

WESCO Reports Record Growth, Eyes Expansion: Pittsburgh-based WESCO, No. 5 on the Big 50, reported a healthy 6.1 percent Q4 sales growth to $1.996 billion and a 6.9 percent profit gain of $402 million. Net income for the quarter jumped 28.4 percent to $74.5 million. WESCO's organic sales growth of 8.1 percent was the company's highest rate since Q2 2012. Net sales for the 2014 year were up 5 percent.


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