Financial reports: Grainger, Zones, and more

Annual Sales and Earnings Down for Grainger, Lab Safety

Industrial supplies manufacturer/marketer W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW), whose divisions include the Lab Safety Supply and Ben Meadows catalogs, reported a 4% decline in annual sales and a 10% drop in net earnings. For the year ended Dec. 31, the Chicago-based company posted net earnings of $174.5 million on sales of $4.8 billion. Those results include nonrecurring, after-tax charges of $36.6 million. For 2000, Grainger netted $192.9 million on sales of $5.0 billion.

Sales for the Lab Safety Supply unit, which includes Ben Meadows, slipped 2%. (The company acquired the Ben Meadows catalog in the first quarter of last year.) Lab Safety Supply’s 15% decline in operating earnings resulted primarily from weak sales in the industrial sector and higher operating expenses from its expanded use of specialty catalogs. Meanwhile, annual sales at Grainger.com increased increased 25%, to $333 million.

Zones Narrows Its Annual Loss Renton, WA-based computer cataloger Zones (Nasdaq: ZONS) posted a net loss of $124,000 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with net income of $96,000 for the fourth quarter of 2000. And net revenue for the quarter declined 31%, to $114.0 million from $166.2 million the year before.

On a brighter note, the company lost $185,000, an improvement from last year’s net loss of $355,000. Annual net revenue fell 15%, to $541.1 million from $634.1 million for 2000.

Alloy Raises Guidance New York—Times aren’t so tough for teen apparel cataloger Alloy (Nasdaq: ALOY) raised financial guidance for its fourth quarter ending Jan. 31. Alloy upped its merchandise revenue range to $46 million-$47 million. And the company has boosted the expected range of earnings before income taxes, stock-based compensation, and amortization of goodwill and acquired intangible assets from $6.4 million-$6.6 million to $6.6 million-$6.8 million.

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