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W W GRAINGER INC (GWW)

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04/16 W W GRAINGER : Grainger plans to buy back $3 billion of its own shar..
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W.W. Grainger, Inc. : WW Grainger Raises Quarterly Dividend 21%

04/25/2012 | 11:56am US/Eastern

W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) raised its quarterly dividend by 21% as the industrial-goods supplier looks to increase shareholder value.

The increase, of 14 cents, brings the company's quarterly payout to 80 cents a share and marks its 41st consecutive year of increased dividends. Grainger said the increase will cost about $39.3 million more a year.

"We are committed to providing top quartile returns to our investors, and our dividend is an important and consistent part of the equation," said Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Ryan.

Grainger, which offers goods ranging from lighting to janitorial products, has posted double-digit percentage earnings growth in recent quarters, amid demand from businesses and institutions trying to consolidate suppliers. The company, which is sometimes seen as a bellwether for the national economy because of the breadth of its offerings, has recently seen its stock rise as investors see Grainger benefiting from the surprise resurgence of U.S. manufacturing.

Last week, Grainger reported its first-quarter earnings jumped 19%, driven by stronger volume and a boost from its acquisitions.

Shares were up by 2.1% to $208.36 in recent trading. The stock is up 40% over the past 12 months.

-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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