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Warehouse Inventory 5
All but two of the 19 wholesale distribution sectors we track moved more pessimistic month-to-month in our May forecast for 2024 revenue growth, which moved into lower single digits.

Premium Monthly

This new-look issue offers research on suppliers’ changing purchase minimums, distributors’ (lack of) AI progress and geopolitical impacts; and updates on Ferguson, Home Depot-SRS Distribution and more.
This issue compares AI adoption rates in manufacturing vs. distribution; explores Grainger’s role as a ‘Problem-Solver’; examines Border States’ acquisition path; and shares takeaways from the MODEX expo.

Market Insight Reports

Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 1Q24 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
The report features in-depth articles that recap the year that was 2023 in distribution dealmaking, a full rundown of every deal we covered in October-December, the latest EBITDA trading multiples and more.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Our 2023 third quarter M&A report features in-depth articles on activity by Ferguson and Veritiv, and chronicles the overall quarterly pace of new deals.

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. <a href="/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3616-1.html" ...

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 ...


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 ...
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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...


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%, ...

ElkCorp, Dallas, TX, manufacturer of roofing and building products, has received another offer to purchase all of ElkCorp's outstanding shares for $42 a share by an affiliate of Building Materials Corporation of America.


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The special committee and board of directors, consistent with its recently announced merger agreement with The Carlyle Group, will review the offer and make a recommendation to ElkCorp's shareholders.


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On January 16, 2007, ElkCorp announced that it has entered into an amended merger agreement with Carlyle, under which Carlyle commenced an offer to acquire all of ElkCorp's outstanding shares for $40.50 per share. The revised Carlyle tender offer represents a $2.50 increase over the $38.00 price per share provided in the ...

Rexel reported sales for fiscal 2006 at 9.3 billion euro, or $12.1 billion, up 26% from 2005, and up 11.1% on a comparable basis (same scope of consolidation, exchange rates and business days).


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In North America, Rexel sales reached $5.2 billion, up 12.2% on a comparable basis from last year. Sales for the fourth quarter were $1.62 billion, up 4% from the same period a year ago on a comparable basis.


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Sales in Europe reached $5.9 billion for the year. Operations there posted double-digit growth.


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Overall, sales for Rexel in the fourth quarter were $3.5 billion.


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CEO Jean-Charles Pauze said that the performance, in part, reflects increases in ...

Industrial production rose 0.4% in December after a decrease of 0.1% in November. Output in November was previously estimated to have advanced; weaker data for a number of industries, particularly steel, led to the downward revision.


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For the fourth quarter as a whole, industrial production decreased 0.5% (annual rate). In the manufacturing sector, output increased 0.7% in December, and most major industry groups registered gains.


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The output of utilities fell 2.6%, the result of relatively mild temperatures during the month, while the output of mines moved up 0.8%.


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Over the 12 months ending in December, total industrial production increased 3.0%, to a level that was 112.4% of its 2002 average, and total ...

The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, were $1.8 billion, an increased of 18.8% over 2005. Profit increased 19.3% to $199,038.


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Sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, were $448,729, an increase of 16.8% over the same period last year. Profit increased 16.4% to $45,570.


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In 2006, Fastenal opened 245 new sites, representing an increase in stores of 14%. Fastenal operated 2,000 sites on Dec. 31. Employees grew to 7,174, up 12.2% from 2005.


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Details here.

Related Links:
Fastenal 3Q Sales Up 16.9% ...

Jackson, MS-based Stuart C. Irby Co., a subsidiary of Sonepar USA, has acquired Burmeister Electric Company, Minneapolis, MN, and High Voltage Testing Laboratories, Fargo, ND.


Burmeister was established in 1919 to serve utility companies in the Upper Midwest.


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Burmeister is a full-line stocking distributor and manufacturers' agent offering products to the electric utilities for transmission and distribution requirements.=


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HVTL is a fully certified testing laboratory offering high voltage testing services and sales of PPE (personal protective equipment) safety products, used by electric utility lineman and field service personnel in the contractor and industrial markets.


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Burmeister will continue to ...

Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, reported sales increased 4% in the second quarter 2007 to $472.36 million. Profit grew 21% to $18.5 million.


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For the six months ended Dec. 31, 2006, sales increased 7% to $964.9 million from $899.3 million in the same period last year. Profit was up 23% to $39.7 million.


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Applied CEO David Pugh said: Although our sales growth was softer than we expected, we believe the economic outlook suggests continued growth through our fiscal year.&nbsp ; We are actively managing our business and are working to keep costs in line with the slower pace of the economy. Based on the current state of the industrial economy, and with six months of results under our belt, we now expect our year-end sales to ...

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