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W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW - Analyst Report) has reported sales for the month of April, 2011. Daily sales during the month increased 14% compared with the same period during 2010. The improvement in sales included 1% contribution  each from acquisitions and foreign exchange.

Excluding the above benefits, organic sales improved 12%, driven by 10% from volume and 2% from price. There were 21 days in April 2011, a day less than April 2010. However, the second quarter will have the same number of selling days as the 2010 second quarter.

On a segmental basis, daily sales in the United States increased 10% in April 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Daily sales in Canada increased 22% in April 2011 and 16% in local currency, versus April 2010. Daily sales in other business increased by a whopping 49%, including sales from the acquired business in Colombia versus April 2010.

Illinois-based Grainger is a leading North American distributor of material handling equipment, safety and security supplies, lighting and electrical products, power and hand tools, pumps and plumbing supplies, etc. The company’s services comprise inventory management and energy efficiency solutions.

Grainger’s prime competitors include Fastenal Co. (FAST - Analyst Report), which reported net sales of $640.6 million during the first quarter of 2011, up 23% on a year-over-year basis, driven by an improvement in sales to the company’s manufacturing as well as non-residential construction customers. Grainger’s other competitors include– Applied Industrial Technologies Inc. (AIT - Snapshot Report) and WESCO International Inc. (WCC - Analyst Report). We currently have a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy recommendation) on the stock.

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