Machinery Stocks

W. W. Grainger Inc Valuation – January 2017 $GWW

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using A Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy – January 2017.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how W.W. Grainger Inc (GWW) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): W.W. Grainger, Inc. (Grainger) is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. The Company offers its products and services to businesses and institutions in the United States and Canada, with presence also in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Grainger operates through two segments: the United States and Canada. The United States segment offers a selection of maintenance, repair and operating supplies, and other related products and services. The Canada segment includes Acklands – Grainger Inc. (Ackland – Grainger), which is a distributor of industrial and safety supplies. The Company’s others businesses include The Fabory Group (Fabory), MonotaRO Co. (MonotaRO), Grainger Mexico and Zoro Tools, Inc. (Zoro). Fabory is a European distributor of fasteners, tools and industrial supplies. Zoro is an online distributor of MRO products serving businesses and consumers through its Website,

GWW Chart

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Premium members can view a full ModernGraham valuation of the company and have access to download a PDF version of the valuation for easy reference. Recent valuations of the components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are available for free members, including this one of Microsoft Corporation.  In addition, here is a post detailing what can be found within each individual company’s valuation.


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of GWW – January 2017

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $14,426,442,081 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 2.04 Pass
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 105.81% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 21.22 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 7.00 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 2.04 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 1.18 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $11.16
MG Growth Estimate 5.60%
MG Value $219.90
Opinion Fairly Valued
MG Grade B+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $161.82
MG Value based on 0% Growth $94.86
Market Implied Growth Rate 6.36%
Current Price $236.81
% of Intrinsic Value 107.69%

W W Grainger Inc is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Fairly Valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $8.13 in 2012 to an estimated $11.16 for 2016. This level of demonstrated earnings growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 6.36% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value within a margin of safety relative to the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into W W Grainger Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $92.08. The company pays a dividend of $4.78 per share, for a yield of 2% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 21.21, which was below the industry average of 22.25, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-11.81.

W W Grainger Inc performs fairly well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a B+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$11.81
Graham Number $92.08
PEmg 21.21
Current Ratio 2.04
PB Ratio 7.00
Current Dividend $4.78
Dividend Yield 2.02%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 20


Useful Links:

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GuruFocus SEC Filings

Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 9/1/2016
Total Current Assets $3,129,192,000
Total Current Liabilities $1,536,311,000
Long-Term Debt $1,874,132,000
Total Assets $5,885,509,000
Intangible Assets $1,014,598,000
Total Liabilities $3,842,796,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 60,416,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $10.99
Dec2015 $11.58
Dec2014 $11.45
Dec2013 $11.13
Dec2012 $9.52
Dec2011 $9.07
Dec2010 $6.93
Dec2009 $5.62
Dec2008 $5.97
Dec2007 $4.94
Dec2006 $4.24
Dec2005 $3.78
Dec2004 $3.13
Dec2003 $2.46
Dec2002 $2.24
Dec2001 $1.84
Dec2000 $2.05
Dec1999 $1.92
Dec1998 $2.44
Dec1997 $2.27
Dec1996 $2.02

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $11.16
Dec2015 $11.01
Dec2014 $10.36
Dec2013 $9.36
Dec2012 $8.13
Dec2011 $7.12
Dec2010 $5.94
Dec2009 $5.27
Dec2008 $4.87
Dec2007 $4.11
Dec2006 $3.52
Dec2005 $3.01
Dec2004 $2.53
Dec2003 $2.19
Dec2002 $2.07
Dec2001 $2.02
Dec2000 $2.12

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Dividend Growth Stocks for Intelligent Investors – July 2016
Dividend Growth Stocks for Intelligent Investors – June 2016
Dividend Growth Stocks for Intelligent Investors – February 2016
19 Best Stocks For Value Investors This Week – 1/9/16
W W Grainger Inc Valuation – January 2016 Update $GWW

Other ModernGraham posts about related companies

Xylem Inc Valuation – January 2017 $XYL
Clarcor Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $CLC
Caterpillar Inc Valuation – August 2016 $CAT
Regal Beloit Corp Valuation – August 2016 $RBC
Snap-on Incorporated Valuation – August 2016 $SNA
AGCO Corporation Valuation – August 2016 $AGCO
PACCAR Inc Valuation – August 2016 $PCAR
W.W. Grainger Inc Valuation – August 2016 $GWW
Allegion PLC Valuation – August 2016 $ALLE
Xylem Inc Valuation – August 2016 $XYL


The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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