The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: January 25, 2009

Grainger Sales Grow 7% in 2008

W.W. Grainger Inc., Chicago, IL, reported sales of $6.9 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, up 7% from 2007. Profit of $475 million was up 13%.

Grainger reported that it is somewhat below the low end of the range it provided in November for 2009 of -5% and +5%.

In the fourth quarter 2008, sales were $1.6 billion, a decrease of 1% from the 2007 fourth quarter.
 
Daily sales increased 4% in October, decreased 2% in November and decreased 5% in December. The 1% decline for the quarter included a 2 percentage point decline from foreign exchange, offset by a net 1 percentage point lift from price and volume. Profit in the fourth quarter was $108 million, up 3% versus $104 million in 2007. Included with profit was a $6 million write ...

Distribution Financial Metrics and Trading Multiples: 4Q

This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 30 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries up to Dec. 31, 2008. Download this data below. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.

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

Inflation by Commodity Group: Annual and Fourth Quarter 2008

These select product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourth quarter 2008 is compared with fourth quarter 2007, third quarter 2008 with fourth quarter 2008, and the full year 2007 with the full year 2008. Graphics depict trend for that product from the start of 2007.
 
The product groups in this report:  

MDM News Digest 3902

Interline Brands, Jacksonville, FL, a distributor of MRO products, plans to cut its work force, consolidate 10 distribution centers over the next six months and make other moves to cut costs. The distributor says it is seeing adverse conditions across its core end-markets and does not expect to meet its previously issued earnings per share range for the fourth quarter 2008. Interline will be eliminating 85 full-time positions. This reduction and other cost cuts are expected to generate annualized savings of about $12 million. More
 
Hagemeyer North America, Charleston, SC, has launched its 2009-2010 Electrical MRO catalog. The 642-page catalog is the first full-line Electrical MRO products ...

Fastenal Starts to See a Slowdown in the Fourth Quarter

Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, were $2.34 billion, an increase of 13.5 percent from the prior year. Profit was up to $279.7 million, an increase of 20.2 percent.
 
While its annual numbers were strong, the distributor said in its earnings call that the fourth quarter slowed significantly.
 
In October, sales growth was at 11.9 percent; November was at 6.8 percent, and December saw no sales growth. CEO Willard Oberton said that December was the first time in Fastenal's 42-year history that the distributor saw no growth year-over-year.
 
Looking forward into 2009, things are very slow, Oberton said. "It's difficult out there. Right now, looking at our January sales numbers, we ...

After Strong 2008, Brazil’s Growth Slows

During the first part of 2008, the Brazilian economy experienced high growth in most sectors with an outlook for that expansion to continue. The first nine months saw loosened credit conditions, rising internal demand and strong export activity despite unrelenting currency appreciation.
 
But the fourth quarter was a different story. Growth slowed at an alarming rate.
 
Though the country is still in positive territory, the fourth quarter of 2008 was surprisingly on the downside, according to Fernando Sedano, an economic consultant for Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI based in Brazil. "I expect a tough first half of 2009."
 
On the other hand, international companies that are already doing business there are seeing continued ...

Commentary: Benchmark Your Financial Capabilities

While the lead article's title - Manage the Panic of 2009 - might seem extreme, it's important to clarify its real meaning. Reports we're hearing from distributors in January indicate they are not in panic mode. On the contrary, every distribution company has become very focused by necessity on cost control, created by the panic and instability in financial markets.
 
I think that's an important distinction. This isn't a typical downturn, where a company just needs to reduce costs across departments by a certain percentage until the tide turns. This time a distributor needs to upgrade financial skills.
 
The traditional financing and cash flow models distributors have used for decades have changed significantly, with much tighter ...

Manage the Panic of 2009

Distributors, to say the least, are facing more uncertainty now than in recent memory.

In a recent MDM Webcast, Manage the Panic of 2009: New Rules for New Economic Realities," Evergreen Consulting's Brent Grover says we are now seeing the worst business conditions in his decades of work in the industry.
 
"Distributors are not accustomed to dealing with this uncertainty," he told participants. "Or the speed of decline in demand and prices."
 
Now more than ever leaders need to avoid hunkering down, and instead strategically prepare their companies for the upswing. When the downturn does reverse course, fewer companies will emerge, ...

MDM Inflation Index: June 2008

Modern Distribution Management's June Inflation Index, which measures a cross-section of industrial supplies, was up 0.54% from the previous month, and up 4.99% from June 2007.
 
Summary of MDM Inflation Index for the past 12 months:
 
June 20058 Index 285.3
May 2008 Index 283.7
April 2008 Index 282.4
March 2008 Index 281.1
February 2008 Index 279.0
January 2008 Index 277.2
December 2007 Index 275.9
November 2007 Index 274.7
October 2007 Index 273.6
September 2007 Index 273.5
August 2007 Index 273.3
July 2007 Index 272.4

Please click below to view a print-ready pdf of the MDM Inflation Index for June 2008, listing the ten individual product categories that make up the ...

MDM Inflation Index: May 2008

Modern Distribution Management's May Inflation Index, which measures a cross-section of industrial supplies, was up 0.48% from the previous month, and up 4.61% from May 2007.
 
Summary of MDM Inflation Index for the past 12 months:
 
May 2008 Index 283.7
April 2008 Index 282.4
March 2008 Index 281.1
February 2008 Index 279.0
January 2008 Index 277.2
December 2007 Index 275.9
November 2007 Index 274.7
October 2007 Index 273.6
September 2007 Index 273.5
August 2007 Index 273.3
July 2007 Index 272.4
June 2007 Index 271.7

Please click below to view a print-ready pdf of the MDM Inflation Index for May 2008, listing the ten individual product categories that make up the ...

MDM Inflation Index: April 2008

Modern Distribution Management's April Inflation Index, which measures a cross-section of industrial supplies, was up 0.47% from the previous month, and up 4.30% from April 2007.
 
Summary of MDM Inflation Index for the past 12 months:
 
April 2008 Index 282.4
March 2008 Index 281.1
February 2008 Index 279.0
January 2008 Index 277.2
December 2007 Index 275.9
November 2007 Index 274.7
October 2007 Index 273.6
September 2007 Index 273.5
August 2007 Index 273.3
July 2007 Index 272.4
June 2007 Index 271.7
May 2007 Index 271.2

Please click below to view a print-ready pdf of the MDM Inflation Index for April 2008, listing the ten individual product categories that make up the ...

Barnes Group Reports Company Cost-Saving Measures

Barnes Group Inc., Bristol, CT, an international aerospace and industrial components manufacturer and logistical services company, reported several actions undertaken in 2008 to address deteriorating economic conditions and improve performance of its global business segments.
 
During the fourth quarter of 2008 our entire organization continued to proactively anticipate and adapt to the unprecedented changes affecting all of our businesses as a result of the tumultuous economy, said Gregory F. Milzcik, president and CEO. "Given the deceleration in global demand for our products and services we took numerous actions to improve our overall cost structure, enhance our manufacturing footprint, and strengthen our global operations.
 
A freeze on all ...

Sealed Air Sales Up 4% For 2008

Sealed Air Corp., Elmwood Park, NJ, reported year-end sales of $4.84 billion, an increase of 4% over 2007 sales. Profit declined 49% to $179.9 million.
 
Fourth quarter 2008 sales decreased 7% to $1.17 billion. Excluding a $66 million unfavorable effect of foreign currency translation, sales would have decreased 1%. Profit for the quarter was $47.3 million, down 41% from the same period the prior year.
 
 Although market conditions negatively impacted our revenue, our operating results reflect the proactive steps we took earlier in the year to manage our business in these challenging times, CEO William V. Hickey said. "During the year we focused on managing pricing and supply chain initiatives to address volatile resin costs. These efforts, ...

Eaton 4Q Sales Up 3%

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp., Cleveland, OH, reported sales in the fourth quarter of 2009 were $3.5 billion, up 3% from the same period in 2007. Profit was $163 million, a decrease of 36%.
 
Sales growth in the fourth quarter consisted of 13% percent growth from acquisitions, offset by a 6% decline from lower exchange rates and a 4% decline in organic growth. End markets in the fourth quarter declined by 6%.
 
For the full year 2008, the company reported sales of $15.4 billion, 18% above 2007. Profit increased 6% to $1.06 billion.
 
 So far in 2009, our markets have continued to decline. We anticipate that our markets will decline through at least the second, and possibly the third, quarter, CEO Alexander M. Cutler ...

Canadian Wholesale Revenues Down 1.6% in November

Source: Statistics Canada

Canadian wholesale revenues fell 1.6% from October to $44.4 billion in current dollars in November, as decreases in four out of seven sectors contributed to the third decline in four months. In terms of the volume of sales, wholesale sales were down 3%.
 
Canadian wholesalers sell to both the domestic and international markets, and are active importers and exporters. The decline in sales reflected both lower export demand for Canadian goods, a significant part of which flows through wholesale markets, and weaker sales in Canada.
 
At current prices, the machinery and electronic equipment sector declined 1.6% in November, reflecting a 1.9% sales drop in the machinery and equipment trade group, ...

Wolseley Sales Rise 3% in First Five Months

UK-based global plumbing and building materials distributor reported revenues were up 3% for the first five months ended Dec. 31, 2008. The distributor's half-year results will be announced March 23.
 
Profit fell 45%.

We continue to act decisively and rapidly in response to the unprecedented market conditions we face, said Chip Hornsby, CEO. Our attention and efforts remain resolutely focused on achieving compliance with our banking covenants, without losing sight that to generate shareholder value we must seek to ensure the business is well positioned to benefit when the markets in which we operate begin to recover. In the meantime, and against this background of declining macro economic activity we continue to implement the actions required to ...

Applied Industrial Technologies 2Q Sales Slightly Down

Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, today reported sales of $502.4 million for its fiscal 2009 second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, a decrease of 1.7% over the same period last year. Profit for the quarter declined 29.5% to $16.2 million. Excluding acquisitions, sales for the quarter were down 11.9%.
 
For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2008, sales increased 1.6% to $1.04 billion. Profit was $38.7 million down 18.3%.
 
"The rate of decline in the industrial economy has increased, and its scope has broadened beyond our expectations. This is a very difficult business climate, and economic indicators would suggest the market has yet to hit bottom, CEO David L. Hugh said.  "We are making appropriate adjustments to our cost ...

MDM January 25, 2009

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 ...