Grainger Reports Results For The 2019 Fourth Quarter And Ful

|Jan 30|magazine45 min read

CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. For the full year, sales of $11.5 billion increased 2.5 percent versus $11.2 billion in the prior year. Sales of $2.8 billion in the 2019 fourth quarter increased 3 percent versus the 2018 fourth quarter.

"In 2019, we grew sales, operating earnings and EPS despite challenging and uncertain economic conditions. Our sales growth in the U.S. outperformed the market throughout the year, and our share gain accelerated in the fourth quarter, as our growth initiatives began to take hold. At our U.S. endless assortment business, Zoro, we continued to invest in the business to ensure ongoing success. At the total company level, our strong expense control held SG&A stable and enabled our advertising, technology and Zoro investments, " said DG Macpherson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As we look to 2020, we will diligently manage expenses while continuing to invest in future growth. We are confident in our strategy and ability to execute moving forward."

2019 Financial Summary

($ in millions)

FY 2019

FY 2019

Change v. Prior (Fav.
vs. (Unfav.))

Q4 2019

Q4 2019

Change v. Prior (Fav.
vs. (Unfav.))


Reported

Adjusted1

Reported

Adjusted1

Reported

Adjusted1

Reported

Adjusted1

Net Sales

$11,486

$11,486

2%

2%

$2,847

$2,847

3%

3%

Gross Profit

$4,397

$4,397

1%

1%

$1,082

$1,081

1%

2%

Operating Earnings

$1,262

$1,388

9%

3%

$181

$307

(37)%

(1)%

Net Earnings

$849

$958

8%

1%

$103

$212

(51)%

(6)%

Diluted EPS

$15.32

$17.29

12%

4%

$1.88

$3.88

(49)%

(2)%










Gross Profit %

38.3%

38.3%

(50) bps

(50) bps

38.0%

38.0%

(60) bps

(50) bps

Operating Margin

11.0%

12.1%

70 bps

10 bps

6.4%

10.8%

(410) bps

(40) bps

Tax Rate

26.0%

24.8%

(210) bps

(310) bps

31.7%

23.7%

(1020) bps

(210) bps

(1)

Results exclude restructuring and income tax items as shown in the supplemental information to this release. Reconciliations of the adjusted measures reflected in this table to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are provided in the supplemental information to this release.

Revenue
For the full year 2019, total company sales increased 2.5 percent versus the full year 2018, including a 0.5 percent negative impact of foreign currency exchange. On a constant currency basis, sales increased 3 percent driven by volume growth of 2.5 percent and favorable price of 0.5 percent.

For the fourth quarter 2019, total company sales increased 3.0 percent versus the prior year period driven by volume growth of 3.5 percent and unfavorable price of 0.5 percent. There was no foreign currency exchange impact in the fourth quarter.

Gross Profit Margin
For the full year 2019, reported and adjusted gross profit margin was 38.3 percent, down 50 basis points, versus the full year 2018 gross profit margin of 38.7 percent.

Reported gross profit margin for the fourth quarter was 38.0 percent, down 60 basis points,  versus the 2018 fourth quarter gross profit margin of 38.6 percent.  Adjusted gross profit margin for the quarter was 38.0 percent, down 50 basis points, versus the 2018 fourth quarter gross profit margin of 38.5 percent. The lower gross profit margin was primarily driven by product and customer mix in the U.S. Segment and total company business unit mix driven by faster growth with the lower margin endless assortment businesses.

Earnings
For the full year 2019, reported operating earnings of $1.3 billion were up 9 percent versus $1.2 billion in 2018. On an adjusted basis, operating earnings for 2019 were $1.4 billion, up 3 percent versus $1.3 billion in 2018. Reported operating margin of 11.0 percent increased 70 basis points versus the prior year. Adjusted operating margin of 12.1 percent increased 10 basis points versus the prior year due primarily to operating expense leverage. Reported earnings per share of $15.32 were up 12 percent versus $13.73 in 2018. Adjusted earnings per share of $17.29 increased 4 percent versus $16.70 in 2018. The increase in adjusted earnings per share was due primarily to higher operating earnings, partially offset by a higher tax rate.

Reported operating earnings for the 2019 fourth quarter of $181 million were down 37 percent versus $290 million in the 2018 fourth quarter. During the quarter, the company recorded a $120 million write-down of substantially all of the remaining intangible assets of the Cromwell business which was the primary driver of the decline in reported operating earnings. On an adjusted basis, operating earnings for the quarter of $307 million were down 1 percent versus $310 million in the 2018 quarter. Reported operating margin of 6.4 percent declined 410 basis points versus the prior year. Adjusted operating margin of 10.8 percent declined 40 basis points versus the prior year due primarily to lower gross profit margin in the quarter. Reported earnings per share of $1.88 in the fourth quarter were down 49 percent versus $3.68 in the 2018 quarter.  Adjusted earnings per share in the quarter of $3.88 decreased 2 percent versus $3.96 in the 2018 fourth quarter. The decline in adjusted earnings per share was due primarily to a higher tax rate in the quarter.

Tax Rate
For the full year 2019, the company's reported tax rate was 26.0 percent versus 23.9 percent in 2018. The adjusted tax rate for the full year was 24.8 percent versus 21.7 percent in 2018.

For the fourth quarter 2019, the company's reported tax rate was 31.7 percent versus 21.5 percent in the 2018 fourth quarter. The company's adjusted tax rate for the fourth quarter 2019 was 23.7 percent versus 21.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2018.

The 2019 tax rates for the quarter and full year contained no tax benefit from the clean energy investments which were concluded in 2018. For the full year, the 2019 tax rates also contained a lower benefit from stock-based compensation than the prior year. In addition, the company recorded a valuation allowance to reduce the future tax benefits from Cromwell, increasing the reported tax rate for the quarter.

Cash Flow
For the full year 2019, the company generated operating cash flow of $1,042 million. This represents a minor year over year decrease primarily related to employee variable compensation payments, partially offset by favorable net income and changes in working capital. The company used the cash generated during the year to invest in the business and return cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. In 2019, capital expenditures were $221 million. Grainger returned $1,028 million to shareholders through $328 million in dividends and $700 million used to buy back 2.4 million shares in 2019.

Operating cash flow for the quarter was $272 million versus $314 million in the 2018 fourth quarter, a decrease of 13 percent compared to the same period last year. The majority of this decline was driven by lower net income and working capital timing.

2020 Company Guidance:
The company is providing the following 2020 guidance:

Total Company

2020 Guidance Range

Net Sales

3.5% to 6.5% growth

    U.S. Market Growth (nominal)

-1.5% to 0.5%

    U.S. Sales

1.0% to 4.0% growth

Gross Profit Margin

37.2% to 37.8%

Operating Margin

11.7% to 12.5%

Earnings per Share

$17.75 to $19.25

Operating Cash Flow

$1.1 to $1.2 billion

CapEx

~$250 million

Share Buyback

$600 to $700 million

Dividend

$310 to $320 million

Tax Rate

24.5% to 25.5%

Segment Operating Margin


United States

15.6% to 16.0%

Canada

-2.0% to 2.0%

Other Businesses

4.0% to 6.0%

Webcast
Grainger will conduct a live conference call and webcast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Jan. 30, 2020, to discuss the fourth quarter. The webcast will be hosted by DG Macpherson and Tom Okray, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and can be accessed at www.grainger.com/investor. For those unable to participate in the live event, a webcast replay will be available for 90 days at www.invest.grainger.com.

About Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2019 sales of $11.5 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products (MRO), with operations also in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Visit www.invest.grainger.com to view information about the company, including a supplement regarding 2019 fourth quarter results. Additional company information can be found on the Grainger Investor Relations website which includes our Fact Book and Corporate Social Responsibility report.

Safe Harbor Statement
All statements in this communication, other than those relating to historical facts, are "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by their use of terms such as "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "expect," "could," "forecast," "may," "intend," "plan," "predict," "project" "will" or "would" and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future strategic plans and future financial and operating results. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others: higher product costs or other expenses; a major loss of customers; loss or disruption of source of supply; increased competitive pricing pressures; failure to develop or implement new technology initiatives; the implementation, timing and results of our strategic pricing initiatives; the outcome of pending and future litigation or governmental or regulatory proceedings, including with respect to wage and hour, anti-bribery and corruption, environmental, advertising, privacy and cybersecurity matters; investigations, inquiries, audits and changes in laws and regulations; failure to comply with laws, regulations and standards; disruption of information technology or data security systems involving us or third parties on which we depend; general industry, economic, market or political conditions; general global economic conditions, including tariffs and trade issues and policies; currency exchange rate fluctuations; market volatility; commodity price volatility; labor shortages; facilities disruptions or shutdowns; higher fuel costs or disruptions in transportation services; pandemic diseases and natural and other catastrophes; unanticipated and/or extreme weather conditions; loss of key members of management; our ability to operate, integrate and leverage acquired businesses; changes in effective tax rates; our common stock, including volatility in our stock price; and other factors which can be found in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent periodic reports filed on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, which are available on our Investor Relations website. Forward-looking statements are given only as of the date of this communication and we disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS (Unaudited)

(In millions of dollars, except for per share amounts)



Three Months Ended
December 31,


   Twelve Months Ended
December 31,


2019


2018


2019


2018

Net sales

$

2,847



$

2,763



$

11,486



$

11,221


Cost of goods sold

1,765



1,697



7,089



6,873


Gross profit

1,082



1,066



4,397



4,348


Selling, general and administrative expenses

901



776



3,135



3,190


Operating earnings

181



290



1,262



1,158


Other (income) expense:








Interest expense, net

19



16



79



82


Other, net

(8)



(5)



(26)



(5)


Total other expense, net

11



11



53



77


Earnings before income taxes

170



279



1,209



1,081


Income taxes

53



60



314



258


Net earnings

117



219



895



823


Less: Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interest

14



10



46



41


Net earnings attributable to W.W. Grainger, Inc.

$

103



$

209



$

849



$

782










Earnings per share:








Basic

$

1.89



$

3.71



$

15.39



$

13.82


Diluted

$

1.88



$

3.68



$

15.32



$

13.73


Weighted average number of shares outstanding:








Basic

53.8



56.1



54.7



56.1


Diluted

54.1



56.4



54.9



56.5


Diluted Earnings Per Share








Net earnings as reported

$

103



$

209



$

849



$

782


Earnings allocated to participating securities

(1)



(1)



(7)



(6)


Net earnings available to common shareholders

$

102



$

208



$

842



$

776


Weighted average shares adjusted for dilutive securities

54.1



56.4



54.9



56.5


Diluted earnings per share

$

1.88



$

3.68



$

15.32



$

13.73


 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In millions of dollars)





(Unaudited)



Assets

December 31, 2019


December 31, 2018

Cash and cash equivalents

$

360



$

538


Accounts receivable – net

1,425



1,385


Inventories - net

1,655



1,541


Prepaid expenses and other assets

104



83


Prepaid income taxes

11



10


Total current assets

3,555



3,557


Property, buildings and equipment – net

1,400



1,352


Deferred income taxes

11



12


Goodwill

429



424


Intangibles - net (2)

304



460


Other assets (1)

306



68


Total assets

$

6,005



$

5,873


Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity




Short-term debt

$

55



$

49


Current maturities of long-term debt

246



81


Trade accounts payable

719



678


Accrued compensation and benefits

228



262


Accrued contributions to employees' profit-sharing plans (3)

85



133


Accrued expenses (1)

318



269


Income taxes payable

27



29


Total current liabilities

1,678



1,501


Long-term debt

1,914



2,090


Deferred income taxes and tax uncertainties

106



103


Other non-current liabilities (1)

247



86


Shareholders' equity (4)

2,060



2,093


Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

6,005



$

5,873




(1)

Other assets increased $223 million, Accrued expenses increased $58 million and Other non-current liabilities increased $171 million due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02, Leases.

(2)

Intangibles - net decreased $120 million as the results of an intangible asset impairment at the Cromwell business in the U.K., located in other businesses.

(3)

Accrued contributions to employees' profit-sharing plans decreased $48 million primarily due to a reduction in variable compensation.

(4)

Common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2019 was 53,687,528 compared with 55,862,360 shares at December 31, 2018, primarily due to share repurchases.

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited)


(In millions of dollars)

Three Months Ended
December 31,


Twelve Months Ended
December 31,


2019


2018


2019


2018

Cash flows from operating activities:








Net earnings

$

117



$

219



$

895



$

823










Provision for losses on accounts receivable

5





12



7


Deferred income taxes and tax uncertainties

(15)



(3)



4



7


Depreciation and amortization

58



65



229



257


Net gains from sales of assets and divestitures

(1)



(2)



(6)



(6)


Impairment of goodwill, intangible and other assets

123



14



123



156


Stock-based compensation

8



11



40



47


Subtotal

178



85



402



468


Change in operating assets and liabilities:








Accounts receivable

77



93



(42)



(79)


Inventories

(124)



(76)



(106)



(129)


Prepaid expenses and other assets

(18)



11



(33)



(2)


Trade accounts payable

(18)



(55)



32



(51)


Accrued liabilities

53



54



(84)



18


Income taxes, net

13



(3)



(3)



36


Other non-current liabilities

(6)



(14)



(19)



(27)


Subtotal

(23)



10



(255)



(234)


Net cash provided by operating activities

272



314



1,042



1,057


Cash flows from investing activities:








Additions to property, buildings, equipment and intangibles

(58)



(70)



(221)



(239)


Proceeds from sales of assets

1



10



17



86


Equity method proceeds (investment)



(1)



2



(13)


Net cash used in investing activities

(57)



(61)



(202)



(166)


Cash flows from financing activities:








Net increase (decrease) in lines of credit

1



(1)



5



(5)


Net decrease in long-term debt

6



(7)



(42)



(96)


Proceeds from stock options exercised

30



2



49



181


Payments for employee taxes withheld from stock awards

(1)



(1)



(11)



(12)


Purchases of treasury stock

(100)



(142)



(700)



(425)


Cash dividends paid

(86)



(84)



(328)



(316)


Other, net

2





4



3


Net cash used in financing activities

(148)



(233)



(1,023)



(670)


Exchange rate effect on cash and cash equivalents

7



1



5



(10)


Net change in cash and cash equivalents

74



21



(178)



211


Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

286



517



538



327


Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

360



$

538



$

360



$

538


SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION - CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (Unaudited)
(In millions of dollars, except for per share amounts)

The company supplemented the reporting of financial information determined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) with certain non-GAAP financial measures, which the company refers to as "adjusted" measures, including adjusted gross profit, adjusted gross profit margin, adjusted operating earnings, adjusted operating margin, adjusted net earnings, adjusted tax rate, adjusted diluted earnings per share and sales in constant currency. Adjusted measures exclude items that may not be indicative of core operating results. The company believes that these non-GAAP measures provide meaningful information to assist shareholders in understanding financial results and assessing prospects for future performance. Management believes adjusted gross profit, adjusted gross profit margin, adjusted operating earnings, adjusted operating margin, adjusted net earnings, adjusted tax rate and adjusted diluted earnings per share are important indicators of operations because they exclude items that may not be indicative of our core operating results, and provide a better baseline for analyzing trends in our underlying businesses. Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies' non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names. These adjusted financial measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for reported results. These non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of operations that, when viewed with GAAP results, provide a more complete understanding of the business. The company strongly encourages investors and shareholders to review company financial statements and publicly filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure.

This press release also includes certain non-GAAP forward-looking information. The company believes that a quantitative reconciliation of such forward-looking information to the most comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP cannot be made available without unreasonable efforts. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures would require the company to predict the timing and likelihood of future restructurings, asset impairments, and other charges.  Neither of these forward-looking measures, nor their probable significance, can be quantified with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Accordingly, the most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measures are not provided.

The reconciliations provided below reconcile GAAP financial measures to the non-GAAP financial measures: , adjusted gross profit, adjusted gross profit margin, adjusted operating earnings, adjusted operating margin, adjusted net earnings, adjusted tax rate and adjusted diluted earnings per share:

In millions

Three Months Ended December 31,


  Twelve Months Ended December 31,


2019

Gross
Profit %


2018

Gross
Profit %


2019

Gross
Profit %


2018

Gross
Profit %

Gross profit reported

$

1,082


38.0

%


$

1,066


38.6

%


$

4,397


38.3

%


$

4,348


38.7

%

    Restructuring, net

(1)




(1)


(0.1)






 



Gross profit adjusted

$

1,081


38.0

%


$

1,065


38.5

%


$

4,397


38.3

%


$

4,348


38.7

%





In millions

Three Months Ended December 31,


Twelve Months Ended December 31,


2019

Operating
Margin %


2018

Operating
Margin %


2019

Operating
Margin %


2018

Operating
Margin %

Operating earnings reported

$

181


6.4

%


$

290


10.5

%


$

1,262


11.0

%


$

1,158


10.3

%

Restructuring, net and impairment charges

126


4.4



20


0.7



126


1.1



186


1.7


Operating earnings adjusted

$

307


10.8

%


$

310


11.2

%


$

1,388


12.1

%


$

1,344


12.0

%

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION - CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS

RECONCILIATION OF GAAP TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (Unaudited)

(In millions of dollars, except for per share amounts)


In millions

Three Months Ended
December 31,



Twelve Months Ended
December 31,



2019


2018

%


2019


2018

%

Net earnings reported

$

103



$

209


(51)

%


$

849



$

782


8

%

Restructuring, net and impairment charges

109



16




109



170



Net earnings adjusted

$

212



$

225


(6)

%


$

958



$

952


1

%











Diluted earnings per share reported

$

1.88



$

3.68


(49)

%


$

15.32



$

13.73


12

%

Pretax restructuring, net and impairment charges

2.30



0.36




2.26



3.26



  Tax effect (1)

(0.30)



(0.08)




(0.29)



(0.29)



Total, net of tax

2.00



0.28




1.97



2.97



Diluted earnings per share adjusted

$

3.88



$

3.96


(2)

%


$

17.29



$

16.70


4

%



(1)

The tax impact of adjustments and impairments are calculated based on the income tax rate in each applicable jurisdiction, subject to deductibility limitations and the company's ability to realize the associated tax benefits.

 


Three Months Ended
December 31,


Twelve Months Ended
December 31,


2019


2018


Bps impact


2019


2018


Bps impact

Tax rate reported

31.7

%


21.5

%


1,020



26.0

%


23.9

%


210


Restructuring, net and impairment charges

(8.0)



0.1





(1.2)



(2.2)




Tax rate adjusted

23.7

%


21.6

%


210



24.8

%


21.7

%


310


 

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grainger-reports-results-for-the-2019-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-300995695.html

SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.