Grainger Reports Results for 1st Quarter 2023

CHICAGO, April 27, 2023  — Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today reported results for the first quarter of 2023 with sales of $4.1 billion, up 12.2%, or 14.5% on a daily, constant currency basis, and diluted EPS of $9.61, up 36.0% compared to the first quarter of 2022. 

“The team continues to perform well amidst a resilient demand environment. Both segments delivered strong growth and expanded margins, while we continued to invest in our growth engines and provide exceptional customer service,” said D.G. Macpherson, Chairman and CEO. “Given the strong, profitable growth in the quarter, we are raising our earnings outlook for the full year 2023.”

2023 First Quarter Financial Summary

($ in millions)Q1 2023 (1)Q1 2022 (1)Q1’23 vs. Q1’22
Fav. / (Unfav.)
Net Sales$4,091$3,64712.2 %
Gross Profit$1,634$1,38318.1 %
Operating Earnings$680$53427.4 %
Net Earnings Attributable to W.W. Grainger, Inc.$488$36633.4 %
Diluted Earnings Per Share$9.61$7.0736.0 %
Gross Profit Margin39.9 %37.9 %200 bps
Operating Margin16.6 %14.6 %200 bps
Effective Tax Rate23.3 %25.5 %220 bps
(1) Results are consistent on a reported and adjusted basis.

Sales in the quarter, on a reported and daily basis, increased 12.2% as compared to the first quarter of 2022. Excluding the unfavorable foreign exchange impact of 2.3%, sales on a daily, constant currency basis were up 14.5% compared to the first quarter of 2022.

In the High-Touch Solutions N.A. segment, daily sales were up 14.5% compared to the first quarter of 2022, primarily due to strong price realization and continued volume growth. In the Endless Assortment segment, daily sales were up 3.8% or 14.0% on a daily, constant currency basis compared to the first quarter of 2022. Revenue growth was driven by core small business growth with new and repeat customers at Zoro U.S., as well as new customer acquisition, repeat business and enterprise customer growth at MonotaRO. Revenue growth in the first quarter at MonotaRO was negatively impacted by winter weather and a slower return to work after the New Year holiday. 

Gross Profit Margin
Gross profit margin for the first quarter of 2023 was 39.9%, a 200 basis point increase compared to the first quarter of 2022. The increase was driven by favorability in both segments.

In the High-Touch Solutions N.A. segment, gross profit margin expanded by 195 basis points over the prior year first quarter primarily due to freight and supply chain efficiencies, as well as continued favorable product mix. In the Endless Assortment segment, gross profit margin expanded by 140 basis points versus the prior year first quarter driven by strong price realization, continued freight efficiencies and favorable business unit mix. 

Operating earnings for the first quarter of 2023 were $680 million, up 27.4% versus the first quarter of 2022. Operating margin in the quarter was 16.6%, an increase of 200 basis points over the first quarter of 2022 driven by the expanded gross profit margins in both segments. SG&A leverage was flat year over year.  

Diluted earnings per share of $9.61 in the first quarter of 2023 increased 36.0% compared to the first quarter of 2022 due primarily to the strong operating performance. 

Tax Rate
The first quarter 2023 effective tax rate was 23.3%, compared to 25.5% in the first quarter of 2022. The decrease in the effective tax rate was primarily due to increased stock compensation tax benefit.

Cash Flow
During the first quarter of 2023, the Company generated $454 million of cash flow from operating activities, as net earnings were partially offset by working capital investments in the period. The Company invested $98 million in capital expenditures, resulting in free cash flow of $356 million. During the quarter, the Company distributed $229 million to Grainger shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. 

Given the strong first quarter results and expectations for the remainder of the year, the Company is updating its full year 2023 guidance ranges as noted below, including an increased outlook for diluted EPS, operating cash flow and share repurchases: 

Total Company(1)Previous 2023 Guidance Range(as of February 2, 2023)Updated 2023 Guidance Range(as of April 27, 2023)
Net Sales$16.2 – $16.8 billion$16.2 – $16.8 billion
Sales Growth6.6% – 10.6%6.6% – 10.6%
Daily Sales Growth7.0% – 11.0%7.0% – 11.0%
Gross Profit Margin38.1% – 38.3%39.1% – 39.4%
Operating Margin14.4% – 14.9%15.2% – 15.7%
Diluted Earnings per Share$32.00 – $34.50$34.25 – $36.75
Operating Cash Flow$1.45 – $1.65 billion$1.6 – $1.8 billion
CapEx (cash basis)$450 – $525 million$450 – $525 million
Share Buyback$550 – $700 million$650 – $800 million
Effective Tax Rate~25.0%~24.0%
Segment Operating Margin
High-Touch Solutions N.A.16.3% – 16.8%17.3% – 17.8%
Endless Assortment8.6% – 9.0%7.9% – 8.3%
 (1) Guidance provided is on an adjusted basis. Daily sales growth adjusted for the impact of one fewer selling day in 2023 as compared to 2022. The Company does not reconcile forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures. For further details see the supplemental information of this release.

The Company will conduct a live conference call and webcast at 11:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 27, 2023 to discuss the first quarter results. The webcast will be hosted by D.G. Macpherson, Chairman and CEO, and Deidra Merriwether, Senior Vice President and CFO, and can be accessed at For those unable to participate in the live event, a webcast replay will be available for 90 days at

About Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2022 sales of $15.2 billion, is a leading broad line distributor with operations primarily in North America, Japan and the United Kingdom. Grainger achieves its purpose, We Keep the World Working®, by serving more than 4.5 million customers worldwide with innovative technology and deep customer relationships. The Company operates two business models. In the High-Touch Solutions segment, Grainger offers more than 2 million maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products and several services, such as technical support and inventory management. In the Endless Assortment segment, offers customers access to more than 12 million items, and provides more than 20 million items. For more information, visit

Visit to view information about the Company, including a supplement regarding 2023 first quarter results. Additional Company information can be found on the Grainger Investor Relations website which includes the Company Snapshot and ESG report.

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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 presented or implied in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: inflation, higher product costs or other expenses, including operational and administrative expenses; the impact of macroeconomic pressures and geopolitical trends, changes and events, including the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global economy, tensions across the Taiwan Straits and in overall relations with China, and the ramifications of these and other events; a major loss of customers; loss or disruption of sources of supply; changes in customer or product mix; increased competitive pricing pressures; changes in third party practices regarding digital advertising; failure to enter into or sustain contractual arrangements on a satisfactory basis with group purchasing organizations; failure to develop, manage or implement new technology initiatives or business strategies, including with respect to the Company’s eCommerce platforms; failure to adequately protect intellectual property or successfully defend against infringement claims; fluctuations or declines in the Company’s gross profit margin; the Company’s responses to market pressures; the outcome of pending and future litigation or governmental or regulatory proceedings, including with respect to wage and hour, anti-bribery and corruption, environmental, regulations related to advertising, marketing and the Internet, consumer protection, pricing (including disaster or emergency declaration pricing statutes), product liability, compliance or safety, trade and export compliance, general commercial disputes, or privacy and cybersecurity matters; investigations, inquiries, audits and changes in laws and regulations; failure to comply with laws, regulations and standards, including new or stricter environmental laws or regulations; government contract matters; disruption or breaches of information technology or data security systems involving the Company or third parties on which the Company depends; general industry, economic, market or political conditions; general global economic conditions including tariffs and trade issues and policies; currency exchange rate fluctuations; market volatility, including price and trading volume volatility or price declines of the Company’s common stock; commodity price volatility; facilities disruptions or shutdowns; higher fuel costs or disruptions in transportation services; outbreaks of pandemic disease or viral contagions such as the COVID-19 pandemic; natural or human induced disasters, extreme weather and other catastrophes or conditions; effects of climate change; failure to execute on our efforts and programs related to environmental, social and governance matters; competition for, or failure to attract, retain, train, motivate and develop executives and key employees; loss of key members of management or key employees; changes in effective tax rates; changes in credit ratings or outlook; the Company’s incurrence of indebtedness or failure to comply with restrictions and obligations under its debt agreements and instruments and other factors identified in the Company’s 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. The preceding list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of the factors that could impact the Company’s forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any of its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Republished from the Grainger corporate news webpage as first published by /PRNewswire/

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