Grainger reports higher earnings, flat sales for 2003

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Chicago--Industrial products company W.W. Grainger Inc. Thursday reported earnings per diluted share of $2.46 for 2003, compared with $2.24 for 2002.

Last year's sales of $4.7 billion were flat compared with 2002, but net earnings rose 7% to $227 million, from $212 million in 2002.

Fourth-quarter sales in 2003 totaled $1.2 billion, up 3 % from the year earlier. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2003 were $62 million, down 1%.

Grainger Chairman-CEO Richard L. Keyser said in a statement, “We continue to project earnings per share of $2.45 to $2.70 for 2004.”

--Sean Callahan

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