This excerpt taken from the GWW DEF 14A filed Mar 18, 2005.
Types of Awards
The 2005 Plan provides that the Committee may grant awards of various types. A description of each of the types of awards follows.
Stock Options. The Committee may grant both incentive stock options ("ISOs") and nonqualified stock options ("NQSOs") under the 2005 Plan. Eligibility for ISOs is limited to employees of Grainger and its subsidiaries. The exercise price for options cannot be less than the fair market value of Grainger common stock as of the date of grant. The latest expiration date cannot be later than the tenth (10th) anniversary of the date of grant (for an ISO, the fifth (5th) anniversary of the date of grant if the recipient is a more than 10% shareholder). Fair market value under the 2005 Plan may be determined by reference to market prices on a particular trading day or on an average of trading days. The exercise price may be paid with cash or its equivalent, with previously acquired shares of common stock, or by other means approved by the Committee, including by means of a broker-assisted exercise.
Stock Appreciation Rights. The Committee may grant stock appreciation rights ("SARs") under the 2005 Plan either alone or in tandem with stock options. The grant price of an SAR cannot be less than the fair market value of Grainger common stock as of the date of grant. The grant price of an SAR granted in tandem with a stock option will be the same as the option price of the tandem option. SARs cannot be exercised later than the tenth (10th) anniversary of the date of grant.
Freestanding SARs may be exercised on such terms as the Committee determines and tandem SARs may be exercised by relinquishing the related portion of the tandem option. Upon exercise of an SAR, the holder will receive from Grainger shares of common stock, equal in value to the difference between the fair market value of the common stock subject to the SAR, determined as described above, and the grant price.
Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units. The Committee may award restricted common stock and restricted stock units. Restricted stock awards consist of shares of stock that are transferred to the participant subject to restrictions that may result in forfeiture if specified conditions are not satisfied. Restricted stock unit awards result in the transfer of shares of stock to the participant only after specified conditions are satisfied. A holder of restricted stock is treated as a current shareholder and is entitled to dividend and voting rights, whereas the holder of a restricted stock unit award is treated as a shareholder with respect to the award only when the shares of common stock are delivered in the future. The Committee will determine the restrictions and conditions applicable to each award of restricted stock or restricted stock units.
Performance Share and Performance Unit Awards. Performance share and performance unit awards may be granted under the 2005 Plan. Performance shares will have an initial value that is based on the fair market value of the stock as of the date of grant. Performance unit awards will have an initial
value that is determined by the Committee. Such awards will be earned only if performance goals over performance periods established by or under the direction of the Committee are met. The performance goals may vary from participant to participant, group to group, and period to period. The performance goals for performance share and performance unit awards and any other awards granted under the 2005 Plan that are intended to constitute "qualified performance-based compensation" will be based upon one or more of the following:
The Committee will determine whether the performance targets or goals that have been chosen for a particular performance award have been met and may provide in an award that any evaluation of performance may include or exclude any of the following that are objectively determinable and that occur during the performance period to which the award is subject: asset write-downs, litigation, claims, judgments, or settlements; the effect of changes in tax laws, accounting principles, or other laws or provisions affecting reporting results; any reorganization and restructuring programs; extraordinary nonrecurring items as described in Accounting Principles Board Opinion No. 30 and/or in management's discussion of financial condition and results of operations appearing in Grainger's annual report to shareholders for the applicable year; acquisitions or divestitures; and foreign exchange gains and losses.
Awards that are designed to qualify as performance-based compensation may not be adjusted upward. However, the Committee has the discretion to adjust these awards downward. In addition,
the Committee has the discretion to make awards that do not qualify as performance-based compensation. Generally, awards may be paid in the form of cash, shares of common stock, or in any combination, as determined by the Committee.
Covered Employee Annual Incentive Awards. The Committee may designate the covered employees who will receive an annual incentive award based on a percentage of an incentive pool. The incentive pool is equal to 5 percent (5%) of Grainger's net earnings for the year. The Committee will allocate the pool among the covered employees designated by the Committee; however, no covered employee can receive more than 100 percent (100%) of the incentive pool, and the sum of the incentive pool percentages for all covered employees cannot exceed 100 percent (100%) of the total pool. The Committee cannot adjust these awards upward, but retains the discretion to adjust the awards downward.
Cash-Based Awards. The Committee may grant cash-based awards under the 2005 Plan that specify the amount of cash to which the award pertains, the conditions under which the award will be vested and exercisable or payable, and such other conditions as the Committee may determine that are consistent with the terms of the 2005 Plan. Although based on a specified amount of cash, cash-based awards may be paid, in the Committee's discretion, either in cash or by the delivery of shares of common stock.
Other Stock-Based Awards. The Committee may grant equity-based or equity-related awards, referred to as "other stock-based awards," other than options, SARs, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, or performance units. The terms and conditions of each other stock-based award shall be determined by the Committee. Payment under any other stock-based award will be made in common stock or cash, as determined by the Committee.