January 2007 - Modern Distribution Management

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January 2007

Danaher Sales Grow 20% in 2006

Danaher Corporation, Washington, D.C., reported sales for 2006 were $9.5 billion compared to $7.98 billion in 2005, an increase of 20%. Profit was $1.1 billion for fiscal 2006, up 25% over last year.


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Sales in the fourth quarter was $2.6 billion, an increase of 17.5% from fourth quarter 2005. Profit for the fourth quarter was $323.7 million, a 28.5% increase.


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The company also announced it has expanded its reporting to four segments. The four segments are Medical Technologies, Professional Instrumentation, Industrial Technologies and Tools and Components. The Medical Technologies business, previously included within the Professional Instrumentation segment, will now stand alone as its own reporting segment. Professional ...

Grainger Sales Up 6% to $5.9B in 2006

W.W. Grainger reported sales of $5.9 billion for fiscal 2006, up 6% versus 2005, and 7% on a daily basis. Profit for the year increased 11% to $383 million, as compared with $346 million in 2005.


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Sales in the fourth quarter were $1.5 billion, up 5% from the prior-year fourth quarter. Daily sales increased 5% in October, 6% in November and 5% in December. Income was $99 million, down 5% from last year.


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In 2006, Grainger installed SAP across most of the U.S. branch-based business.


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Branch-Based Segment
Sales in this segment in the U.S., Mexico and China, increased 5% in the fourth quarter. Of the 5% growth, an estimated 3 percentage points came from the company's two growth initiatives in the U.S., market ...

MDM January 25, 2007

This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than six years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email info@mdm.com to ...

Distribution Financial Metrics and Trading Multiples

This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 30 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries. Download the pdf in this article to see the data. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.



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These materials,&nbsp ; prepared by Robert W. Baird & Co. for MDM are for informational purposes ...

Inflation Softens in 2006

Click here for charts showing inflation by product group - 16 products, including tools, fasteners, machinery/equipment, fluid power, and others, are displayed in this document.

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This is an overview of wholesale price inflation trends in the past year for commodities in industrial and construction channels. Overall, core inflation rose 1.1 percent in 2006 -a significant slowdown from 2005. But the Federal Reserve still sees inflation as a potential threat in the next year, albeit at lower levels.

Thanks to a slowdown in energy price increases, wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in 2006, in contrast to the 5.4 percent rise in 2005, the Bureau of ...

MDM News Digest 3702

Apollo Management, which also recently invested in Rexnord, has made an investment in Bradco Supply Corp., a roofing distributor based in Avenel, NJ. Bradco has more than 150 branches in the U.S. Bradco founder Barry Segal says the investment is a great opportunity to significantly grow the company." More ...

Global fastener distributor The Wurth Group, based in Germany, recorded 12 percent sales growth in fiscal 2006 to 7.74 billion euro, or US$9.9 billion. Outside of Germany, sales increased by 11.8 percent to 4.62 billion euro, or US$5.96 billion. Profit grew by 16.5 percent overall.

Commentary: Don’t Look in the Rear-View Mirror

As the lead article in this issue illustrates, the inflation threat largely driven in 2005 by energy price hikes has moderated, particularly the last few months of the year. Wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in 2006, compared to 5.4 percent in 2005. But wholesale prices except food and energy - the core inflation rate - moved up 2 percent in 2006 following a 1.4 percent gain in 2005.


Distributors need to look more closely at the stats in their own sectors, as there are a lot of mixed signals. Materials for durable manufacturing increased 13 percent in 2006; prices for materials/components for construction increased 4.3 percent.


But as these pages pointed out (Adam Fein article in Nov. 10, 2006 MDM), distributors really need to watch steroid revenue growth produced ...

Monthly Wholesale Trade: November 2006

Sales. November 2006 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $331.3 billion, up 1.0% from the revised October level and were up 7.9% from the November 2005 level. November sales of durable goods increased 1.2% from last month and were up 7.7% from a year ago. Compared to last month, sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were up 5.0% and sales of electrical and electronic goods increased 2.9 %. November sales of nondurable goods were up 0.7% (+/-0.7%) ...

Letter to the Editor: What’s Home Depot’s Growth Strategy?

Dear Editor:



I would like to disagree with MDM's editorial on Home Depot (MDM Jan. 10, 2007) - on several levels.



1) The job of company management, within certain limits, is to maximize shareholder value. HD stock was over $43 in 2000. According to the inflation calculator provided (on the Web) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that adjusts (for inflation) to about $50 in 2006. I would guess it will adjust another dollar higher in 2007 money, so make it $51.


Essentially, HD paid Bob Nardelli more than $450 million over six years to go backwards. The spending power of the money invested in HD stock by shareholders who bought the stock the day he was named Big Cheese DECLINED. You cite Nardelli's accomplishments. If he's not responsible for ...

Case Study: Preempting Problems

Company Snapshot

  • One distribution center and five branches, based in Livonia, MI.
  • Number of employees: 58
  • Key products: Bearings and power transmission

We strive to be problem-solvers in the marketplace by providing end-user training. It's a service the customer values and one that our competition can't easily duplicate. It adds real value to what we offer and helps us build stronger relationships with our end users.

More than eight years ago we began receiving requests from customers for maintenance-related training. We viewed these requests as opportunities for us to grow our business.

We sat down with those customers to determine the specific areas where they needed ...

Applied Industrial President to Retire in December

Applied Industrial Technologies announced that Bill L. Purser, president and COO, will retire effective Dec. 31, 2007. Purser, 63, has been president since October 2000.


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Ben J. Mondics, 48, will be promoted to president following Purser's departure. Mondics, effective Feb. 1, will be promoted to COO.


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Mondics is currently Applied's Area Vice President - Midwest Area, where he oversees nine regions and 86 service centers in 11 states. The Midwest sales area is the largest of the company's five geographic divisions. Mondics has been with Applied since 1994.


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More Breaking ...

Kennametal Sales in First 6 Months Unchanged

Kennametal Inc., Latrobe, PA, reported sales for the first six months of fiscal 2007 were $1.1 billion, level with the same period last year. Sales grew 6% on an organic basis, offset by the impact of acquisitions and divestiture of J & L Industrial Supply.


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Sales for the quarter were $569 million compared with $563 million in the same quarter last year. Sales grew 6% on an organic basis.


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Metalworking Solutions & Services Group sales were up 5%, led by year-over-year expansion in the distribution, aerospace and general engineering markets. The North American market continued to moderate (+1%), while conditions in the European market continued to improve (+11%), and Asia Pacific (+6%) and India (+7%) delivered solid growth.


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Praxair to Acquire Mittler Supply of Indiana

Praxair Distribution, Inc., Danbury, CT, a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., has agreed to buy Mittler Supply Inc., distributor of industrial, medical, specialty gases and related welding equipment and supplies, operating in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Mittler had sales of $73 million in 2006 and has 210 employees.


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Founded in 1946, Mittler operates a cylinder-gas fill plant, specialty-gas laboratory and a centralized warehouse for distribution of welding equipment and supplies at its headquarters located in South Bend, IN. The firm also operates several satellite cylinder-gas fill plants and 18 retail sales and distribution locations in the three states.


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“The addition of Mittler Supply to our existing network in the Great Lakes ...

Praxair Sales Up 10% in 2006

Industrial gases producer and distributor Praxair, Inc., Danbury, CT, reported sales of $8.3 billion for 2006, an increase of 10% over last year. In North America, sales reached $4.6 billion for the year, up 9%.


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Sales in the fourth quarter were $2.123 billion, up 9% from the same period a year ago. In North America, fourth-quarter sales hit $1.182 billion, up 6%.


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Praxair achieved strong growth from new business and the start-up of new supply systems in every geography and end market.


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Sales growth occurred in most major end markets and the company completed seven major projects in 2006. Additionally, the number of new projects underway and set to come on stream in the next several years increased significantly ...

Illinois Tool Works Sells Roofing Business to OMG

Illinois Tool Works Inc. has sold its mechanical roofing fastener business for $26 million to OMG Inc., a subsidiary of Handy & Harman.


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The business develops and manufactures fastening systems for the commercial roofing industry.



OMG is a manufacturer of mechanical fasteners, accessories and components and building products for the commercial and residential construction industry.


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More Breaking ...

Building Products Distributor BlueLinx Sales Fall in 4Q

BlueLinx Holdings Inc., Atlanta, GA, distributor of building products, reported revenue for the fourth quarter 2006 declined about 29% to $945 million from the same period a year ago. The company's business that is tied to new home construction was negatively impacted by the slowdown and depressed wood-based structural product prices. BlueLinx reported a net loss for the quarter.


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The company's fourth-quarter results historically are affected negatively by a seasonal slowdown in construction. It also had a stronger-than-expected 2005 fourth quarter in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


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The company's overall unit volume fell about 17% during the fourth quarter, with structural unit volume down about 18%, and specialty unit ...

Eaton Sales Up 12% in 2006

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. reported sales for 2006 were up 12% from 2005, and profit was up 18%. Sales were $12.4 billion.


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Fourth quarter sales were up 10% to $3.1 billion, with profit up 15%.


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Segment Results
Fourth quarter sales for Electrical were $1.1 billion, up 9% over 2005. End markets grew about 2.5% for electrical, reflecting a slowdown from the growth rate in early 2006. In 2007, Eaton expects 4% growth, with nonresidential markets offsetting a decline in residential markets.


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In Fluid Power, fourth quarter sales were $985 million, 17% above the same period in 2005. Organic growth was 7%. Fluid Power markets grew 6%, with global hydraulics shipments up 7%, ...

Wolseley Feels Impact of Housing Slowdown

UK-based Wolseley plc, global distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and supplier of building materials, reported it continues to be affected by the slowdown in housing and lower lumber prices in the U.S.


For the first five months to Dec. 31, 2006, Wolseley sales increased 15%, with 3% organic growth. Profit was slightly lower. In constant currency, revenue and trading profit would be about 5% higher. Results for the first six months will be reported in mid-March.


Wolseley says the housing slowdown effect was offset by good organic growth in the U.S. plumbing and heating business (Ferguson), an improved performance in continental Europe and contributions from acquisitions.


In the U.S., new housing starts have ...

HD Board May Meet With Activist Investor This Week

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reported this weekend that Home Depot board members are expected to visit this week with investor Ralph Whitworth, head of Relational Investors, which owns 1.3% of HD stock. Whitworth has been critical of HD's strategy recently and says that big changes are necessary to boost the stock price post-Nardelli. Bob Nardelli recently resigned his post as CEO.


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Whitworth has been critical of HD's supply business, telling CNBC's Closing Bell in January: What we believe is that management should be focused like laser beams on the core business, improving the customer experience, ...

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