W.W. Grainger Inc., Chicago, reported a 14 percent increase in earnings for the first quarter ended March 31. Sales were $1.3 billion, up 9 percent over the prior year’s first quarter. Net earnings were up 16 percent to $72.8 million.
Grainger’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Keyser said, “Overall in the first quarter we saw healthy sales growth in the government, manufacturing, transportation and commercial sectors, even though March sales showed some softness, parti
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