The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: February 11, 2008

Grainger Responds to Allegations of Overcharging the Government

Chicago-based Grainger responded to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Wisconsin alleging the distributor had overcharged the U.S. government as well as illegally relabeled products manufactured in non-trade agreement countries so they could be sold to the U.S. government.
 
Grainger said in a press release that it will meet with the Justice Department to address the issues brought up in the complaint, which was recently unsealed by the U.S. Department of Justice. "The company takes this allegation seriously," Grainger said. "Although Grainger believes the company has fully complied with its contract, it intends to carefully review the allegations to ensure it meets its obligations to its ...

Cooper Industries Acquires MTL Instruments Group

Cooper Industries, Ltd., Houston, TX, announced that its subsidiary, Cooper Controls (U.K.) Limited, has acquired The MTL Instruments Group plc. The total purchase price is approximately £144.3 million.

MTL is a supplier of electronic instrumentation and protection equipment for use in hazardous environments. MTL has a global commercial footprint including operations in India, China, and the Middle East. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, MTL reported consolidated revenues of £85.3 million.
 
Cooper Industries is a global manufacturer with 2007 revenues of $5.9 billion, approximately 87 percent of which are from electrical ...

Thomas & Betts Sales Up 14% in 2007

Thomas &Betts Corp., Memphis, TN, had sales of $2.1 billion for the full-year 2007, up 14.4% over 2006. Net earnings from continuing operations were $183.7 million.
 
Thomas &Betts completed four acquisitions in the year.
 
The 14.4% year-over-year sales growth was driven by solid demand in industrial and commercial markets and, to a lesser extent, price increases. Acquisitions contributed 6% to the sales increase.
 
The fourth-quarter sales increased 24% to $602.4 million. Acquisitions contributed 16% to the overall sales growth. Core growth was due to volume gains in industrial markets. Net earnings from continuing operations were $48.7 million. ...

PT/MC Sales Growth Slowing

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) reported that distributors and manufacturers in North America experienced overall growth in sales in 2007. Confidence in the market (as measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most optimistic) has eroded slightly, holding a current neutral position between 5.0 and 5.8 versus a range of 5.1 to 6.6 at year-end 2006.
 
While still in the positive, growth in sales of PT/MC products is definitely slowing. Following three years of double-digit growth, U.S. distributors'saw a 6.8 percent increase in PT/MC product sales in 2007. The annualized sales-to-inventory ratio for 2007 was up to 7.6, compared to 7.3 in 2006.
 
Canadian distributors also continued to experience growth in PT/MC sales, again at a ...