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|Grainger President James T. Ryan Speaks at William Blair Growth Stock Conference|
|Reaffirms EPS Guidance for 2006 of $4.00 - $4.15|
CHICAGO, June 28, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Grainger President James T. Ryan today addressed a group of analysts attending the William Blair & Company 26th Annual Growth Stock Conference in Chicago. A webcast of his presentation can be found on Grainger's Web site at http://www.grainger.com/investor .
Ryan explained how Grainger's unique approach and scale advantages provided by its extensive customer coverage, broad product line, efficient logistics network, integrated information systems and experienced people position it to capture market share in the fragmented, $140 billion North American MRO market. He highlighted Grainger's growth strategies for the U.S. branch-based business, including how Grainger expects both the market expansion and product line expansion programs to continue to contribute to the company's sales growth, and projected the four-year sales expectations for the product line expansion program.
Ryan described opportunities beyond the United States. He included some of the ways the company intends to improve the performance of its business in Canada, Acklands - Grainger, Inc. In April, Grainger promoted Y.C. Chen to Group President responsible for Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. More recently, Douglas J. Harrison, who served as President of Acklands - Grainger, resigned from Grainger to pursue other opportunities. Y.C. Chen is now also serving as the interim President of Acklands - Grainger.
Ryan reiterated the company's 2006 earnings per share guidance of $4.00 to $4.15, which includes a $0.15 per share reduction for the cost of stock-based compensation, including approximately $0.06 per share in the 2006 second quarter. Ryan noted that the preliminary read for June suggests daily sales growth in the range of 8% to 9%. The company plans to report sales results in conjunction with its second quarter earnings on July 17, 2006.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2005 sales of $5.5 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions throughout North America. Through a highly integrated network including nearly 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done, saving them time and money by having the right products to keep their facilities running.
This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws. The forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies, and objectives and are not historical facts. They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "position it to capture," "expected," "expectations," "projected," "suggests," "growth strategies," "preliminary," "guidance," "plans," or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected. The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and of various factors that may affect it.
William D. Chapman