Dividend Aristocrat Overview: W. W. Grainger

Photo: Flickr.com/Mike Mozart

About W. W. Grainger

W. W. Grainger bills itself as a “leading business-to-business distributor headquartered in the U.S.” and that “Grainger.com provides access to maintenance, repair, and operating supplies for over a million customers around the world.”  Grainger is a reseller of business products for industrial organizations, providing customers with items ranging from abrasives to welding equipment.

William W. Grainger founded W. W. Grainger in Chicago in 1927 as a wholesale seller and distributor of electric motors.  40 years later, in 1967, the company went public and the following year was first listed on the Midwest Stock Exchange.  In 1972 – the same year the company began increasing the annual dividend payout – the stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.  The company seeks to be the leader in the maintenance, repair and operating market and supplies 1.2 million different products to more than 2 million customers.

The company is a member of the S&P 500 index and trades under the ticker symbol GWW.

W. W. Grainger’s Dividend and Stock Split History

Grainger has increased dividends annually since 1972 and in 1996 met the Dividend Aristocrat criteria of 25 consecutive years of dividend growth.  The company usually announces annual dividend increases in April, with the stock going ex-dividend in May.

Grainger has compounded its payout at an average rate of 10.6% over the last 5 years and 14.2% over the last 10 years.

Since going public in 1967, Grainger has split its stock five times, each time 2-for-1: in November 1970, November 1972, June 1985, June 1991, and June 1998.  The first three stock splits were in the form of a 100% stock dividend.

Grainger’s Direct Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Grainger does not offer either a direct purchase or a dividend reinvestment plan.  Most brokers offer the option for investors to reinvest dividends automatically.  Fees will vary by broker; investors should contact them directly for more information.

Helpful Links

W. W. Grainger Investor Relations Website

Current quote and financial summary for W. W. Grainger (finviz.com)


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