Grainger Reports Results For The 4th Qrtr & Full Year 2022
CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2023 — Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year 2022. Sales of $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter 2022 increased 13.2%, or 17.2% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2021. For the full year, sales of $15.2 billion increased 16.9%, or 19.3% on a daily, constant currency basis compared to the prior year.
“Our strong 2022 performance was driven by the team’s focused execution against our long-term strategy in a robust demand market. Both our High-Touch Solutions and Endless Assortment segments delivered above expectations by remaining committed to our purpose, We Keep the World Working®,” said D.G. Macpherson, Chairman and CEO. “As we look to 2023, we remain focused on delivering value for our customers and strong results for shareholders and team members.”
2022 Financial Summary
|($ in millions)||Q4 2022||Q4 2022||FY 2022||FY 2022|
|Change v. Prior (Fav. |
|Change v. Prior (Fav.|
|Reported||Adjusted( 1)||Reported||Adjusted( 1)||Reported||Adjusted( 1)||Reported||Adjusted( 1)|
|Net Sales||$3,802||$3,802||13.2 %||13.2 %||$15,228||$15,228||16.9 %||16.9 %|
|Gross Profit||$1,506||$1,506||20.2 %||20.2 %||$5,849||$5,849||23.9 %||23.9 %|
|Operating Earnings||$544||$523||30.4 %||25.5 %||$2,215||$2,194||43.2 %||41.9 %|
|Net Earnings||$384||$363||36.0 %||28.8 %||$1,547||$1,526||48.4 %||46.4 %|
|Diluted EPS||$7.54||$7.14||38.6 %||31.3 %||$30.06||$29.66||51.5 %||49.5 %|
|Gross Profit %||39.6 %||39.6 %||230 bps||230 bps||38.4 %||38.4 %||215 bps||215 bps|
|Operating Margin||14.3 %||13.8 %||190 bps||135 bps||14.5 %||14.4 %||265 bps||255 bps|
|Tax Rate||24.3 %||25.3 %||50 bps||(50) bps||24.8 %||25.1 %||20 bps||(10) bps|
|(1)||Results exclude the divestiture of Cromwell’s enterprise software business completed in the fourth quarter of 2022. Reconciliations of the adjusted measures reflected in this table to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are provided in the supplemental information of this release.|
For the fourth quarter of 2022, total Company sales on a reported and daily basis increased 13.2% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Normalizing for the Japanese Yen’s depreciation, sales on a daily, constant currency basis were up 17.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the High-Touch Solutions N.A. segment, sales were up 16.8%, or 17.2% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2021 driven by strong price realization and continued volume growth. In the Endless Assortment segment, sales were up 0.9%, or 18.2% on a daily, constant currency basis versus the fourth quarter of 2021. Growth in the segment was driven by strong new customer acquisition and repeat business for the segment, as well as enterprise customer growth at MonotaRO.
For the full year 2022, total Company sales increased 16.9% versus the full year 2021. Daily sales on a constant currency basis increased 19.3% versus the prior year.
Gross Profit Margin
For the fourth quarter of 2022, total Company gross profit margin was 39.6%, up 230 basis points compared to 37.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the High-Touch Solutions N.A. segment, gross margin expanded by 225 basis points over the fourth quarter of 2021 as the segment benefited from improved product mix, lower freight costs and the favorable net impact of LIFO inventory adjustments. In the Endless Assortment segment, gross margin expanded by 170 basis points versus the fourth quarter of 2021 driven by strong price realization, freight efficiencies and favorable business unit mix.
For the full year 2022, total Company gross profit margin was 38.4%, up 215 basis points versus the prior year. The increase in gross profit margin was primarily driven by improved product mix and price / cost favorability as well as lapping the $118 million pandemic inventory adjustment from 2021. The increase was partially offset by freight inflation.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, reported operating earnings for the total company were $544 million, up 30.4% over the fourth quarter of 2021. Reported operating margin was 14.3%, a 190 basis point increase over the fourth quarter of 2021. On an adjusted basis, which excludes the gain from the fourth quarter divestiture of Cromwell’s enterprise software business, operating earnings for the quarter were $523 million, up 25.5% over the fourth quarter of 2021. Adjusted operating margin was 13.8%, a 135 basis point increase over the fourth quarter of 2021. The increase in adjusted operating margin was driven by gross profit margin expansion, which was partially offset by decreased SG&A leverage as the Company continued to invest to support growth and incurred $35 million of non-recurring items in the period.
Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2022 were $7.54 on a reported basis, up 38.6% versus the fourth quarter of 2021. On an adjusted basis, diluted earnings per share were $7.14, up 31.3% versus the fourth quarter of 2021. The increase in earnings per share was due primarily to the strong operating performance in the quarter.
For the full year 2022, reported operating earnings for the total Company of $2,215 million were up 43.2% versus the prior year, and resulted in reported operating margin of 14.5%, an increase of 265 basis points. On an adjusted basis, 2022 operating earnings of $2,194 million were up 41.9% versus the prior year, and resulted in adjusted operating margin of 14.4%, an increase of 255 basis points. During the year, the Company achieved 40 basis points of SG&A leverage on strong revenue growth.
Diluted earnings per share of $30.06 on a reported basis increased 51.5% versus 2021 earnings per share of $19.84. On an adjusted basis, 2022 diluted earnings per share were $29.66, up 49.5% versus the prior year. The increase in earnings per share was due primarily to the strong operating performance in the year.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, the tax rate was 24.3% compared to 24.8% in the fourth quarter of 2021. On an adjusted basis, the tax rate was 25.3% compared to 24.8% in the prior year quarter. The variance was driven primarily by a decrease in stock compensation tax benefit as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.
For the full year 2022, the reported tax rate was 24.8% versus 25.0% in 2021. On an adjusted basis, the full year tax rate was 25.1% versus 25.0% in the prior year.
Operating cash flow for the quarter was $360 million as net earnings were partially offset by working capital in the period. As compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, operating cash flow increased $147 million, an increase of 69.0%. The increase over the prior year quarter was primarily due to higher net earnings as well as favorable working capital in the fourth quarter of 2022.
For the full year 2022, the Company generated operating cash flow of $1,333 million as net earnings were partially offset by working capital in the period. As compared to 2021, operating cash flow increased $396 million, an increase of 42.3%. The increase over the prior year was driven by the higher net earnings, which were partially offset by 2022 investments in working capital to support growth.
In 2022, the Company invested $256 million through capital expenditures and returned $949 million to Grainger shareholders, comprised of $347 million in dividends and $602 million to repurchase 1.1 million shares.
2023 Company Guidance
The Company is providing the following outlook for 2023:
|Total Company(1)||2023 Guidance Range|
|Net Sales||$16.2 – $16.8 billion|
|Sales growth||6.6% – 10.6%|
|Daily sales growth||7.0% – 11.0%|
|Gross Profit Margin||38.1% – 38.3%|
|Operating Margin||14.4% – 14.9%|
|Diluted Earnings per Share||$32.00 – $34.50|
|Operating Cash Flow||$1.45 – $1.65 billion|
|CapEx (cash basis)||$450 – $525 million|
|Share Buyback||$550 – $700 million|
|Segment Operating Margin|
|High-Touch Solutions N.A.||16.3% – 16.8%|
|Endless Assortment||8.6% – 9.0%|
|(1)||Guidance provided is on an adjusted basis. Daily sales growth adjusted for the impact of one less 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.|
Grainger will conduct a live conference call and webcast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Feb. 2, 2023, to discuss the fourth quarter and full year 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 invest.grainger.com. For those unable to participate in the live event, a webcast replay will be available for 90 days at invest.grainger.com.
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, Zoro.com offers customers access to more than 11 million items, and MonotaRO.com provides more than 20 million items. For more information, visit invest.grainger.com.
Visit invest.grainger.com to view information about the Company, including a supplement regarding 2022 fourth quarter results. Additional Company information can be found on the Grainger Investor Relations website which includes our Company Snapshot and ESG 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 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 regarding Taiwan and the ramifications of these and other events; a major loss of customers; loss or disruption of sources of supply; the unknown duration and health, economic, operational and financial impacts of the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 and its variants (COVID-19); 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 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 that 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.
For the full report and all Statement of Earnings, see the W.W. Grainger, Inc. webpage, as first published on /PRNewswire/