The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: April 14, 2008

Grainger Sales Up 7% in First Quarter

Chicago, IL-based Grainger reported sales of $1.7 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, up 7% from the prior-year first quarter. Profit for the quarter was up 12% to $114 million.
 
We are off to a strong start," said CEO Richard L. Keyser. "We are encouraged by the market share gains achieved in a slowing economy."
 
Daily sales increased 8% in January, 7% in February and 7% in March. For the quarter, sales were positively affected by foreign exchange, which contributed 1percentage point. Sales were negatively affected by 1percentage point due to the timing of Easter.
 
Grainger Branch-based segment
Sales in this segment, which includes branch-based businesses in the U.S., Mexico and China, increased 6% in the 2008 first quarter. Daily ...

Grainger Starts Meetings With Government Over Allegations

Chicago, IL-based facilities maintenance distributor Grainger has started meeting with the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss alleged contract and Trade Agreement non-compliance claims.
 
Grainger is accused of overcharging the U.S. government as well as illegally relabeling products manufactured in non-trade agreement countries so they could be sold to the U.S. government, a violation of the Trade Agreements Act.
 
In a press release, Grainger said the timing and outcome of this matter are uncertain and could include a settlement or civil litigation, and while this matter is not expected to have a material adverse effect on Grainger's financial position, an unfavorable resolution could result in material payments by Grainger." Grainger said the contract with the ...

Eaton Sales Grow 12% in First Quarter

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp., Cleveland, OH, reported sales for the first quarter 2008 were $3.5 billion, 12% above the same period in 2007. Profit was $247 million.
 
Sales growth was the results of 2% organic growth, 6% from acquisitions and 4% from higher exchange rates. End markets for Eaton grew 2%.
 
Eaton reported it anticipated growth of 4% in its end markets in 2008, with international markets modestly stronger" than expectations in January and U.S. markets "slightly weaker."
 
Sales for the Electrical segment were $1.3 billion, up 20% over 2007. This includes 11% growth from acquisitions. Eaton reported end markets in electrical grew 7% in both U.S. and non-U.S. markets.
 
Hydraulics segment sales were $657 million, ...

February Machine Tool Consumption Down 4%

February U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $308.50 million, according to the Association For Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors'Association. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 4% from January, but up 4.4% from the total of $295.39 million reported for February 2007. With a year-to-date total of $624.28 million, 2008 is up 1.2% compared with 2007.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

Industry forecasters called for a first-half downturn in manufacturing technology orders,"said John B. Byrd III, AMT president. "The economic stimulus package has kept orders from falling in ...

PrimeSource Buys Coast to Coast Building Products

PrimeSource Building Products Inc., Carrollton, TX, will buy Miami, FL-based Coast to Coast Building Products Inc., according to the Dallas Business Journal.
 
The acquisition expands PrimeSource's network into the Southeast as well as the Caribbean and Central America. Coast to Coast has 75 employees and serves Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Alabama in the U.S.
 
In February, PrimeSource reported it purchased 3-G's Supply, Strongsville, OH, marking PrimeSource's entry into the Cleveland, OH, regional market.
 
With 35 distribution centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, PrimeSource is a distributor of building materials serving residential and industrial new-construction and remodeling ...

MSC: Safety Products Catalog Part of Growth Strategy

MSC Industrial Direct's latest Safety Products Catalog launch is part of its strategy to further penetrate existing customer accounts, according to Erik Gershwind, MSC's senior vice president of product management, marketing and strategy.
 
The interest in safety products has been building in our customer base for the past few years," Gershwind said. "We definitely saw a demarcation point after 9/11. Our customer base has a heightened sense of awareness of keeping the workplace safe and protecting the well-being of their employees."
 
Gershwind told MDM that penetration of existing accounts was a key growth strategy for the industrial distributor, based in Melville, NY. The company is also planning to grow its business into new customer and product ...