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Industrial supply company $GWW's sales in 3Q17 inched up 2% to $2.6Bil, driven by volume growth in its US business. But higher costs during the quarter weighed on its earnings, which fell 13% to $186MM, or $2.79 per share. Excluding special costs, $GWW's earnings slid 5% to $2.90 per share during the quarter.
$GWW said its CEO D G Macpherson will assume the additional role of Chairman of the BoD, effective October 1, 2017, upon the retirement of Jim Ryan. Macpherson joined Grainger in 2008 after working on behalf of the company at Boston Consulting Group as a partner and managing director for six years.
$GWW said its mid-size customer volume continued to accelerate throughout 2Q17 and was positive for the first time in five years during the quarter. The company added that currently, about 50% of the mid-size customer volume is on more competitive pricing.
In the US segment, $GWW's gains from the sale of assets in 2Q17 were offset by restructuring costs. The Canadian business announced plans to close 59 branches in 2017 as part of restructuring. $GWW also announced the wind-down of its business in Colombia. Restructuring items represented $1.07 per share in charges. Excluding them, EPS decreased 5%.
Despite a drastic fall in earnings in 2Q17, $GWW reiterated its 2017 sales and EPS guidance of sales growth of 1-4% and adjusted EPS of $10-11.30. CEO DG Macpherson said, "Outside the US, we took aggressive action to streamline our portfolio and focus on profitable businesses. Based on what we are seeing, we are reiterating our 2017 guidance."
Industrial supplies company $GWW saw 43% fall in net earnings in 2Q17, even as sales increased 2% to $2.61Bil. The sales growth during the quarter was spurred by its continued volume growth from the pricing initiatives in the US. Net earnings were $98MM, or $1.67 per share, compared to $173MM, or $2.79 per share in the year-over period.
In terms of boosting investors' confidence, $GWW said it will overcommunicate on the efforts it is making on fronts like volume growth, expense to COGS, customer satisfaction and customer acquisition. The company said it has not been able to acquire customer into Grainger brand for years, and it has planned to acquire customers beginning in 3Q17.