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Baird’s Industrial Distribution Research Team collected feedback on fourth quarter results from approximately 400 independent and captive distributors with combined annual revenue of $65 billion. Key survey findings include:
- Average revenue declines improved moderately in the fourth quarter at -12.4% year over year compared to -15.6% year over year last quarter.
- Pricing appears to be stable, as average pricing was -1.3% year over year in the fourth quarter compared to -1.9% year over year last quarter.
- Respondents’ first quarter outlook is better than current quarter trends at -2.2% year over year against comparisons that ease significantly.
- Inventories destocking finally appears to be alleviating, however, no material re-stocking is expected near-term.
- Gross margins remain stable, with most respondents reporting no change vs. 3Q09.