W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW) is one of 58 public companies in the “Industrial Machinery & Equipment” industry, but how does it compare to its competitors? We will compare W.W. Grainger to similar companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, risk, profitability and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for W.W. Grainger and its competitors, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
W.W. Grainger 4 9 0 0 1.69
W.W. Grainger Competitors 396 1924 1941 38 2.38

W.W. Grainger currently has a consensus target price of $179.91, indicating a potential downside of 1.34%. As a group, “Industrial Machinery & Equipment” companies have a potential upside of 2.05%. Given W.W. Grainger’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe W.W. Grainger has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Volatility and Risk

W.W. Grainger has a beta of 0.76, meaning that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, W.W. Grainger’s competitors have a beta of 1.21, meaning that their average share price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares W.W. Grainger and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
W.W. Grainger $10.22 billion $1.40 billion 21.06
W.W. Grainger Competitors $2.17 billion $344.21 million 23.87

W.W. Grainger has higher revenue and earnings than its competitors. W.W. Grainger is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Dividends

W.W. Grainger pays an annual dividend of $5.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. W.W. Grainger pays out 59.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Industrial Machinery & Equipment” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.5% and pay out 36.5% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. W.W. Grainger has increased its dividend for 45 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares W.W. Grainger and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
W.W. Grainger 5.08% 34.03% 11.48%
W.W. Grainger Competitors 1.46% 6.95% 4.70%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

80.6% of W.W. Grainger shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.2% of shares of all “Industrial Machinery & Equipment” companies are held by institutional investors. 9.6% of W.W. Grainger shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.5% of shares of all “Industrial Machinery & Equipment” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

W.W. Grainger beats its competitors on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About W.W. Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (Grainger) is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. The Company offers its products and services to businesses and institutions in the United States and Canada, with presence also in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Company operates through two segments, which include the United States and Canada. The Company’s business support functions provide coordination and guidance in the areas of accounting and finance, business development, communications and investor relations, compensation and benefits, information systems, health and safety, global supply chain functions, human resources, risk management, internal audit, legal, real estate, security, tax and treasury. The Company’s other businesses also include Zoro Tools, Inc. (Zoro), the single channel online business in the United States, MonotaRO Co. (MonotaRO) in Japan, and operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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