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W.W. Grainger 3Q net income jumps on easy comps

CHICAGO (AP) -- NEWS: W.W. Grainger Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income jumped 36 percent, helped by easy comparisons to a quarter weighed down by hefty reserves, but fell slightly short of Wall Street predictions.

DETAILS: The Chicago company, which sells power tools and other industrial equipment, said volumes increased at its U.S. business. But its business outside of the country continued to be effected by tough economic conditions and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

NUMBERS: Grainger earned $207.8 million, or $2.95 per share, up from $152.6 million, or $2.15 per share, in the same quarter of 2012. The year-ago quarter included pre-tax reserves of 66 cents per share. Excluding the effects of those, profit rose 4 percent.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $2.4 billion from $2.28 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $3.03 per share on $2.42 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

FUTURE: Grainger narrowed its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $11.45 to $11.65 per share. It previously predicted a profit of between $11.40 and $12 per share. Sales are now expected to grow between 5 percent and 6 percent, at the lower end of the company's previously projected range of 5 percent to 8 percent.

STOCK: Grainger shares rose $3.16, or 1.2 percent, to $258.58 in morning trading. Its shares are up 23 percent so far this year.