Stock Analysis Report

Executive Summary

W.W. Grainger, Inc. distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

Snowflake Analysis

Solid track record established dividend payer.

Similar Companies

Share Price & News

How has W.W. Grainger's share price performed over time and what events caused price changes?

Latest Share Price and Events

Stable Share Price: GWW has not had significant price volatility in the past 3 months.

Market Performance

7 Day Return




US Trade Distributors


US Market

1 Year Return




US Trade Distributors


US Market

Return vs Industry: GWW underperformed the US Trade Distributors industry which returned 1.2% over the past year.

Return vs Market: GWW underperformed the US Market which returned 10.5% over the past year.

Shareholder returns

7 Day-7.3%-8.3%-7.4%
30 Day-11.6%-6.1%-3.6%
90 Day-10.8%-8.3%-0.6%
1 Year-6.6%-8.5%3.1%1.2%12.8%10.5%
3 Year20.3%13.0%9.6%4.6%37.4%28.6%
5 Year34.1%20.7%33.7%23.8%61.3%43.6%

Price Volatility Vs. Market

How volatile is W.W. Grainger's share price compared to the market and industry in the last 5 years?

Simply Wall St News


Is W.W. Grainger undervalued compared to its fair value and its price relative to the market?


Undervalued compared to fair value

Share Price vs. Fair Value

Below Fair Value: GWW ($284.79) is trading below our estimate of fair value ($316.2)

Significantly Below Fair Value: GWW is trading below fair value, but not by a significant amount.

Price To Earnings Ratio

PE vs Industry: GWW is poor value based on its PE Ratio (18.3x) compared to the Trade Distributors industry average (15.4x).

PE vs Market: GWW is poor value based on its PE Ratio (18.3x) compared to the US market (17.2x).

Price to Earnings Growth Ratio

PEG Ratio: GWW is poor value based on its PEG Ratio (2.3x)

Price to Book Ratio

PB vs Industry: GWW is overvalued based on its PB Ratio (8.2x) compared to the US Trade Distributors industry average (1.5x).

Next Steps

Future Growth

How is W.W. Grainger forecast to perform in the next 1 to 3 years based on estimates from 21 analysts?


Forecasted annual earnings growth

Earnings and Revenue Growth Forecasts

Analyst Future Growth Forecasts

Earnings vs Savings Rate: GWW's forecast earnings growth (7.9% per year) is above the savings rate (1.7%).

Earnings vs Market: GWW's earnings (7.9% per year) are forecast to grow slower than the US market (13.2% per year).

High Growth Earnings: GWW's earnings are forecast to grow, but not significantly.

Revenue vs Market: GWW's revenue (4.7% per year) is forecast to grow slower than the US market (7.6% per year).

High Growth Revenue: GWW's revenue (4.7% per year) is forecast to grow slower than 20% per year.

Earnings per Share Growth Forecasts

Future Return on Equity

Future ROE: GWW's Return on Equity is forecast to be very high in 3 years time (41.8%).

Next Steps

Past Performance

How has W.W. Grainger performed over the past 5 years?


Historical annual earnings growth

Earnings and Revenue History

Quality Earnings: GWW has high quality earnings.

Growing Profit Margin: GWW's current net profit margins (7.4%) are higher than last year (7%).

Past Earnings Growth Analysis

Earnings Trend: GWW's earnings have grown by 1.8% per year over the past 5 years.

Accelerating Growth: GWW's earnings growth over the past year (8.6%) exceeds its 5-year average (1.8% per year).

Earnings vs Industry: GWW earnings growth over the past year (8.6%) exceeded the Trade Distributors industry 5.1%.

Return on Equity

High ROE: Whilst GWW's Return on Equity (43.45%) is outstanding, this metric is skewed due to their high level of debt.

Return on Assets

Return on Capital Employed

Next Steps

Financial Health

How is W.W. Grainger's financial position?

Financial Position Analysis

Short Term Liabilities: GWW's short term assets ($3.6B) exceed its short term liabilities ($1.7B).

Long Term Liabilities: GWW's short term assets ($3.6B) exceed its long term liabilities ($2.3B).

Debt to Equity History and Analysis

Debt Level: GWW's debt to equity ratio (107.5%) is considered high.

Reducing Debt: GWW's debt to equity ratio has increased from 14.8% to 107.5% over the past 5 years.

Debt Coverage: GWW's debt is well covered by operating cash flow (47%).

Interest Coverage: GWW's interest payments on its debt are well covered by EBIT (17.8x coverage).

Balance Sheet

Inventory Level: GWW has a high level of physical assets or inventory.

Debt Coverage by Assets: GWW's debt is covered by short term assets (assets are 1.6x debt).

Next Steps


What is W.W. Grainger's current dividend yield, its reliability and sustainability?


Current Dividend Yield

Dividend Yield vs Market


Current dividend yield vs market & industry

Notable Dividend: GWW's dividend (2.02%) is higher than the bottom 25% of dividend payers in the US market (1.52%).

High Dividend: GWW's dividend (2.02%) is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the US market (3.9%).

Stability and Growth of Payments

Stable Dividend: GWW's dividends per share have been stable in the past 10 years.

Growing Dividend: GWW's dividend payments have increased over the past 10 years.

Current Payout to Shareholders

Dividend Coverage: With its reasonably low payout ratio (36.6%), GWW's dividend payments are well covered by earnings.

Future Payout to Shareholders

Future Dividend Coverage: GWW's dividends in 3 years are forecast to be well covered by earnings (31.4% payout ratio).

Next Steps


How experienced are the management team and are they aligned to shareholders interests?


Average management tenure


DG Macpherson (51yo)





Mr. Donald G. Macpherson, also known as DG, has been the Chief Executive Officer of W.W. Grainger, Inc. since October 01, 2016 and has been its Chairman since October 2017. Mr. Macpherson served as the Chi ...

CEO Compensation Analysis

Compensation vs Market: DG's total compensation ($USD10.46M) is about average for companies of similar size in the US market ($USD10.82M).

Compensation vs Earnings: DG's compensation has increased by more than 20% in the past year.

Leadership Team

Donald Macpherson
Chairman & CEO3.3yrsUS$10.46m0.063% $10.1m
Thomas Okray
Senior VP & CFO1.8yrsUS$4.31m0.014% $2.2m
John Howard
Senior VP & General Counsel20.1yrsUS$3.04m0.034% $5.4m
Paige Robbins
Senior Vice President of Grainger Technology0.3yrsUS$2.25m0.019% $3.0m
Deidra Merriwether
Senior VP & President of North American Sales and Service0yrsUS$1.36m0.0095% $1.5m
Irene Holman
Vice President of Investor Relations1.6yrsno datano data
Kathleen Carroll
Senior VP & Chief Human Resources Officer1.2yrsno data0.0040% $638.6k
Masaya Suzuki
Managing Director of Endless Assortment Business0yrsno datano data
Debra Oler
Senior VP and President North America Sales & Service0yrsno datano data
Hugo Dubovoy
VP & Corporate Secretary0yrsno datano data


Average Tenure


Average Age

Experienced Management: GWW's management team is not considered experienced ( 1.7 years average tenure), which suggests a new team.

Board Members

Donald Macpherson
Chairman & CEO3.3yrsUS$10.46m0.063% $10.1m
Brian Anderson
Independent Director21.1yrsUS$318.57k0.0062% $988.0k
Stuart Levenick
Lead Director3.8yrsUS$346.07k0.00075% $119.1k
Neil Novich
Independent Director21.1yrsUS$318.57k0.0086% $1.4m
V. Hailey
Independent Director13.8yrsUS$331.07k0.00037% $58.8k
James Slavik
Independent Director33.1yrsUS$318.57k8.77% $1.4b
Michael Roberts
Independent Director14yrsUS$333.57k0.0019% $295.5k
E. Santi
Independent Director9.8yrsUS$318.57k0.00056% $89.0k
Rodney Adkins
Independent Director5.6yrsUS$318.57k0.00075% $119.1k
Beatriz Perez
Independent Director2.6yrsUS$318.57kno data


Average Tenure


Average Age

Experienced Board: GWW's board of directors are seasoned and experienced ( 11.8 years average tenure).


Who are the major shareholders and have insiders been buying or selling?

Insider Trading Volume

Insider Buying: Insufficient data to determine if insiders have bought more shares than they have sold in the past 3 months.

Recent Insider Transactions

Ownership Breakdown

Dilution of Shares: Shareholders have not been meaningfully diluted in the past year.

Top Shareholders

Company Information

W.W. Grainger, Inc.'s company bio, employee growth, exchange listings and data sources

Key Information

  • Name: W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • Ticker: GWW
  • Exchange: NYSE
  • Founded: 1927
  • Industry: Trading Companies and Distributors
  • Sector: Capital Goods
  • Market Cap: US$15.884b
  • Shares outstanding: 53.66m
  • Website: https://www.grainger.com

Number of Employees


  • W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • 100 Grainger Parkway
  • Lake Forest
  • Illinois
  • 60045-5201
  • United States


TickerExchangePrimary SecuritySecurity TypeCountryCurrencyListed on
GWWNYSE (New York Stock Exchange)YesCommon StockUSUSDJul 1971
GWWDB (Deutsche Boerse AG)YesCommon StockDEEURJul 1971
0IZILSE (London Stock Exchange)YesCommon StockGBUSDJul 1971
G1WW34BOVESPA (Bolsa de Valores de Sao Paulo)BDR EACH 5 REPR 1 COMBRBRLJan 2020


W.W. Grainger, Inc. distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company provides material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, cleaning and maintenance supplies, and metalworking tools, as well as gloves, ladders, motors, and janitorial supplies. It also offers inventory management and technical support services. The company provides its products through branches, sales and service representatives, contact centers, distribution centers, and catalogs, as well as through e-commerce platform. It serves small and mid-sized businesses, large corporations, government entities, and other institutions. W.W. Grainger, Inc. was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Company Analysis and Financial Data Status

All financial data provided by Standard & Poor's Capital IQ.
DataLast Updated (UTC time)
Company Analysis2020/02/26 00:02
End of Day Share Price2020/02/25 00:00
Annual Earnings2019/12/31

Unless specified all financial data is based on a yearly period but updated quarterly. This is known as Trailing Twelve Month (TTM) or Last Twelve Month (LTM) Data. Learn more here.