Grainger (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, held this past November its Annual Analyst Meeting at its new, highly automated, one-million square foot distribution center in Minooka, Illinois. Grainger’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Ryan hosted the event. The meeting also included presentations from several other Grainger leaders.

“Grainger is well-positioned for continued growth and share gain because of our proven strategy and our financial strength. We know the power of scale in a consolidating industry and we see significant opportunity to continue to invest in our business to outpace the market and deliver strong shareholder returns over the long-term,” said Mr. Ryan.

As part of the meeting, Grainger provided the following outlook for sales and earnings in 2013 and 2014:

● For the 2013 fourth quarter, the company is forecasting sales to increase 6 to 8 percent and expects earnings per share of $2.53 to $2.73.

● For the full year 2013, the company reiterated its sales growth forecast of 5 to 6 percent, and its earnings per share guidance of $11.45 to $11.65.

● For the full year 2014, the company is forecasting sales growth of 6 to10 percent, and expects earnings per share of $12.25 to $13.00.

Long-term outlook

Grainger also reviewed its longer-term financial objectives. The company is now targeting operating margins in the range of 16 to 17 percent by the year 2019. This improvement is expected to come from organic sales growth in the high single digits and operating margin expansion of approximately 30 to 60 basis points per year. As a point reference, company operating margin in 2013 is forecasted at 14.2 to 14.4

Information presented at the Annual Analyst Meeting, including details supporting the company’s guidance and longer term expectations, can be found in the archived webcast from the meeting available on Grainger’s Investor Relations web site at