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



30 Apr 21
17 Jun 21
31 Dec 21
Quarter (USD)
Mar 21 Dec 20 Sep 20 Jun 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) 562M 562M 562M 562M 562M 562M
Cash burn (monthly) 7.67M 77.5M (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn) (positive/no burn)
Cash used (since last report) 19.62M 198.34M n/a n/a n/a n/a
Cash remaining 542.38M 363.66M n/a n/a n/a n/a
Runway (months of cash) 70.7 4.7 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
1 Jun 21 Brian P Anderson Deferred Stock Units Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 462.16 71 32.81K 20,265
1 Jun 21 Rodney C Adkins Deferred Stock Units Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 462.16 17 7.86K 4,800
1 Jun 21 V Ann Hailey Deferred Stock Units Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 462.16 49 22.65K 14,088
1 Jun 21 Jaspon Katherine D. Deferred Stock Units Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 462.16 2 924.32 369
1 Jun 21 Stuart L Levenick Deferred Stock Units Common Stock Grant Aquire A No No 462.16 72 33.28K 20,788

Data for the last complete 13F reporting period. To see the most recent changes to ownership, click the ownership history button above.

68.9% owned by funds/institutions
13F holders
Current Prev Q Change
Total holders 748 744 +0.5%
Opened positions 78 115 -32.2%
Closed positions 74 55 +34.5%
Increased positions 261 213 +22.5%
Reduced positions 246 257 -4.3%
13F shares
Current Prev Q Change
Total value 14.39B 15.29B -5.9%
Total shares 35.9M 37.46M -4.2%
Total puts 204K 533.4K -61.8%
Total calls 131.6K 285.9K -54.0%
Total put/call ratio 1.6 1.9 -16.9%
Largest owners
Shares Value Change
Vanguard 5.24M $2.1B -3.0%
BLK Blackrock 3.87M $1.55B +3.9%
Longview Partners 2.25M $900.56M -16.5%
STT State Street 2.24M $899.12M -2.0%
Clearbridge Advisors 2.03M $815.5M -0.8%
NTRS Northern Trust 1.13M $453.99M -2.4%
Geode Capital Management 824.27K $329.74M +0.0%
BEN Franklin Resources 706.95K $283.44M -0.5%
BAC Bank Of America 689.84K $276.58M +6.8%
Nuveen Asset Management 664.68K $266.49M -8.0%
Largest transactions
Shares Bought/sold Change
Norges Bank 0 -453.33K EXIT
Longview Partners 2.25M -443.19K -16.5%
Carillon Tower Advisers 0 -329.92K EXIT
FIL 478.03K +245.71K +105.8%
Nordea Investment Management Ab 228.57K +214.24K +1495.9%
MKFCF Mackenzie Financial 389.99K -211.72K -35.2%
Melvin Capital Management 171.88K -188.12K -52.3%
First Trust Advisors 189.92K -181.81K -48.9%
Vanguard 5.24M -162.16K -3.0%
Junto Capital Management 0 -156.22K 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
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