This excerpt taken from the GWW 10-Q filed May 3, 2005.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. and
Policies and Estimates
Accounting policies are considered critical when they require management to make assumptions about matters that are uncertain at the time the estimate is made and when different estimates than those management reasonably could have made have a material impact on the presentation of Graingers financial condition, changes in financial condition or results of operations. For a description of Graingers critical accounting policies see the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004.
Factors that may affect forward-looking statements include the following: higher product costs or other expenses; a major loss of customers; increased competitive pricing pressure on Graingers businesses; failure to develop or implement new technologies or other business strategies; the outcome of pending and future litigation and governmental proceedings; changes in laws and regulations; facilities disruptions or shutdowns; disruptions in transportation services; natural and other catastrophes; unanticipated weather conditions; and other difficulties in achieving or improving margins or financial performance.
Trends and projections could also be affected by general industry and market conditions, gross domestic product growth rates, general economic conditions, including industrial production, interest rate and currency rate fluctuations, global and other conflicts, job creation and employment levels in manufacturing, non-farm and other sectors, and other factors.