GWW W.W. Grainger

W. W. Grainger, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 industrial supply company founded in 1927 in Chicago by William W. Grainger. He founded the company in order to provide consumers with access to a consistent supply of motors. The company now serves more than 3 million customers worldwide with offerings such as motors, lighting, material handling, fasteners, plumbing, tools, and safety supplies, along with inventory management services and technical support. Revenue is generally from business-to-business sales rather than retail sales. Grainger serves its over 3 million customers through a network of approximately 598 branches, online channels , and 33 distribution centers. The company was founded as a supplier for businesses by William Wallace Grainger in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, and incorporated as W. W. Grainger, Inc. in 1928. Sales in the early days were generated primarily through mail order via post cards and a catalog. The MotorBook, as the catalog was originally called, was the basis for today's Grainger catalog. Grainger headquarters are now located in Lake Forest, Illinois. By 1936, Grainger had established 15 branches to improve customer service.

Company profile

Donald Macpherson
Fiscal year end
Industry (SIC)
Former names
IRS number

GWW stock data



23 Feb 21
2 Mar 21
31 Dec 21
Quarter (USD)
Dec 20 Sep 20 Jun 20 Mar 20
Cost of revenue
Operating income
Operating margin
Net income
Net profit margin
Cash on hand
Change in cash
Diluted EPS
Annual (USD)
Dec 20 Dec 19 Dec 18 Dec 17
Cost of revenue
Operating income
Operating margin
Net income
Net profit margin
Cash on hand
Change in cash
Diluted EPS

Financial data from company earnings reports.

Cash burn rate (estimated) Burn method: Change in cash Burn method: Operating income/loss Burn method: FCF (opex + capex)
Last Q Avg 4Q Last Q Avg 4Q Last Q Avg 4Q
Cash on hand (at last report) 585M 585M 585M 585M 585M 585M
Cash burn (monthly) 91.33M (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn)
Cash used (since last report) 186.64M n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Cash remaining 398.36M n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Runway (months of cash) 4.4 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Beta Read what these cash burn values mean

Date Owner Security Transaction Code Indirect 10b5-1 $Price #Shares $Value #Remaining
4 Jan 21 Robert F OKeef Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 0 613 0 3,787
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 408.2612 644 262.92K 39,567
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 405.9593 4,625 1.88M 40,211
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 405.0275 501 202.92K 44,836
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 404.1052 1,929 779.52K 45,337
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 402.8605 6,253 2.52M 47,266
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 402.1531 4,665 1.88M 53,519
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Sell Dispose S No Yes 401.0442 286 114.7K 58,184
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Option exercise Aquire M No Yes 248.22 7,360 1.83M 58,470
10 Dec 20 Howard John L Common Stock Option exercise Aquire M No Yes 245.86 11,543 2.84M 51,110
68.4% owned by funds/institutions
13F holders
Current Prev Q Change
Total holders 722 684 +5.6%
Opened positions 105 73 +43.8%
Closed positions 67 65 +3.1%
Increased positions 208 201 +3.5%
Reduced positions 254 261 -2.7%
13F shares
Current Prev Q Change
Total value 14.99B 13.9B +7.8%
Total shares 36.73M 37.89M -3.1%
Total puts 533.4K 456.3K +16.9%
Total calls 285.9K 258.7K +10.5%
Total put/call ratio 1.9 1.8 +5.8%
Largest owners
Shares Value Change
Vanguard 5.4M $2.2B -1.1%
BLK Blackrock 3.73M $1.52B -5.3%
Longview Partners 2.69M $1.1B -27.6%
STT State Street 2.29M $934.81M -0.7%
Clearbridge Advisors 2.05M $836.91M +1.6%
NTRS Northern Trust 1.16M $473.53M -1.6%
Geode Capital Management 824.15K $335.77M -0.0%
Nuveen Asset Management 723.76K $295.54M +7.4%
BEN Franklin Resources 710.48K $290.12M +2.2%
BAC Bank Of America 645.79K $263.7M -4.4%
Largest transactions
Shares Bought/sold Change
Longview Partners 2.69M -1.03M -27.6%
Melvin Capital Management 360K +360K NEW
Carillon Tower Advisers 329.92K +240K +266.9%
BLK Blackrock 3.73M -209.43K -5.3%
Renaissance Technologies 87.6K -191.3K -68.6%
Citadel Advisors 0 -182.76K EXIT
Junto Capital Management 156.22K +156.22K NEW
FMR 214.69K +145.77K +211.5%
DB Deutsche Bank AG - Registered Shares 259.62K +139.06K +115.4%
ORI Old Republic International 0 -118K EXIT

Financial report summary

  • Weakness in the economy, market trends and other conditions affecting the profitability and financial stability of Grainger’s customers could negatively impact Grainger’s sales growth and results of operations.
  • The facilities maintenance industry is highly competitive, and changes in competition could result in decreased demand for Grainger’s products and services.
  • Volatility in commodity prices may adversely affect gross margins.
  • Unexpected product shortages, tariffs, product cost increases and risks associated with Grainger’s suppliers could negatively impact customer relationships or result in an adverse impact on results of operations.
  • Changes in customer base or product mix could cause changes in Grainger’s revenue or gross margin, or affect Grainger’s competitive position.
  • Disruptions in Grainger’s supply chain could result in an adverse impact on results of operations.
  • Interruptions in the proper functioning of information systems could disrupt operations and cause unanticipated increases in costs and/or decreases in revenues.
  • Cybersecurity incidents, including breaches of information systems security, could damage Grainger’s reputation, disrupt operations, increase costs and/or decrease revenues.
  • Grainger’s ability to adequately protect its intellectual property or successfully defend against infringement claims by others may have an adverse impact on operations.
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency could have an effect on reported results of operations.
  • In order to compete, Grainger must attract, retain, train, motivate, develop and transition key employees, and the failure to do so could have an adverse effect on results of operations.
  • Grainger’s continued success is substantially dependent on positive perceptions of Grainger’s reputation.
  • Grainger is subject to various domestic and foreign laws, regulations and standards. Failure to comply or unforeseen developments in related contingencies such as litigation could adversely affect Grainger’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
  • Grainger is subject to a number of rules and regulations related to its government contracts, which may result in increased compliance costs and potential liabilities.
  • In conducting its business Grainger may become subject to legal proceedings or governmental investigations, including in connection with product liability or product compliance claims if people, property or the environment are harmed by Grainger’s products or services.
  • Tax changes could affect Grainger’s effective tax rate and future profitability.
  • Grainger’s common stock may be subject to volatility or price declines.
  • Changes in Grainger’s credit ratings and outlook may reduce access to capital and increase borrowing costs.
  • Grainger has incurred substantial indebtedness and may incur substantial additional indebtedness, which could adversely affect cash flow, decrease business flexibility, or prevent Grainger from fulfilling its obligations.
Management Discussion
  • Net sales were $9,070 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase of $255 million, or 2.9%, compared with net sales of $8,815 million for 2019. On a daily basis, net sales increased 2.5% and consisted of the following:
  • Overall, revenue increases for the U.S. business were primarily driven by COVID-19 pandemic-related sales, which accounted for the majority of the sales growth beginning in mid-February 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. business experienced strong sales volume of pandemic-related products primarily from large government and healthcare customers; however, sales to non-essential and disrupted industries are down compared to 2019. See Note 3 to the Financial Statements for information related to disaggregated revenue. From a product perspective, the U.S. business experienced strong demand for COVID-19 pandemic-related products; however, this elevated demand was partially offset by lower demand of non-pandemic products.
  • Gross profit margin decreased 2.5 percentage points compared to the same period in 2019. The decrease was the result of pandemic related headwinds, including product, customer mix and inventory write-downs to reflect current
Content analysis
H.S. freshman Avg
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