Oil spill boosts Grainger 4Q profit

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Jan. 25 at 7:35 a.m.

Selling products used to help clean up oil spills enabled Chicago-based W.W. Grainger Inc. to report a double-digit sales gain and a 36 percent increase in fourth-quarter net earnings, the company said Tuesday.

Fourth-quarter earnings totaled $132 million, or $1.83 a share, compared with $97 million, or $1.27 a share, in the comparable year-ago period. Sales during the period rose 12 percent to $1.8 million.

For the year, Granger reported record net earnings of $511 million, a 19 percent increase from the $430 million reported in 2009. Earnings per share rose 23 percent, to $6.93 a share while sales increased 15 percent, to $7.2 billion.

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