UPDATE 2-Grainger Q3 results top estimates; ups '08 earns view

martes 14 de octubre de 2008 19:28 CEST

* Q3 sales rise 11 percent

* Q3 EPS $1.79 beats estimates of $1.53

* Raises 2008 earnings forecast (Recasts, adds details, analysts' comments, share movement)

By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

BANGALORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Building maintenance supply company W.W. Grainger Inc (GWW.N: Cotización) posted better-than-expected third-quarter results, driven by expansion of its product line and market, and its shares rose as much as 8 percent.

Despite the economic uncertainty, Grainger still raised its earnings outlook for the year to a range of $6.00 to $6.20 a share from its prior view of $5.80 to $6.10 a share.

"They obviously recognize that we are in a more uncertain macroeconomic environment and they left the range fairly wide to allow for that flexibility," Brent Rakers, an analyst with Morgan, Keegan & Co, said.

Analyst John Baliotti of FTN Midwest Securities Corp believes that the company's focus on the MRO (maintenance, repair, operations) side of business, which is less volatile and less discretionary, is helping growth.

Both the analysts said government orders, which constitute about 20 percent of Grainger's revenue, is also a key driver. Grainger distributes lighting, motors, janitorial supplies and other materials used to maintain and repair buildings.   Continuación...