). On Friday, the company posted 89 cents for second-quarter earnings per share, and raised its 2005 projection to $3.40-$3.60.
Analyst John Baliotti says 89 cents second-quarter EPS came in 7 cents above the consensus estimate and 3 cents above his estimate. He views second-quarter results as clean, driven at the revenue line and leveraged at the margin line. He believes that with both strong revenues and margins, there's no room for disputing this was a quality quarter.
More importantly, Baliotti believes results year-to-date indicate W.W. Grainger is on track with its market expansion strategy and is achieving market-share gains.
Following the company's new guidance, he raises 2005 EPS estimate by 3 cents to $3.53 and ups his $83 price target to $89. He keeps $4.20 2006 EPS estimate and buy rating.