Grainger confirms settlement of government contract dispute Grainger announced it has settled its long-standing contract dispute with the federal government. As announced October 16, the discrepancy centered on disclosure language in the General Services Administration and United States Postal Service contracts, which were implemented more than 10 years ago. Grainger maintains it complied with the disclosure requirements and the contracts in all material respects, and the settlement does not contain any admission of wrongdoing by the company. The GSA and USPS remain long-standing and important Grainger customers. These contracts account for a portion of the company's overall government business, which represented 17% of its total U.S. 2011 revenue. As Grainger disclosed in October, it recorded a $70M pre-tax reserve for this settlement and established a separate pre-tax reserve to resolve tax, freight and miscellaneous billing issues with these two government customers.
On The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Airgas (ARG) downgraded on valuation at KeyBanc... BHP Billiton (BHP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Clarksons Platou... Chesapeake (CHK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... ChipMOS (IMOS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Clovis (CLVS) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Cooper Companies (COO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Five Below (FIVE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Grainger (GWW) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities... Hess Corp. (HES) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... J Sainsbury (JSAIY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Kindred Biosciences (KIN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital... Leju (LEJU) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Lombard Medical (EVAR) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Osiris (OSIR) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Brean Capital... Polaris Industries (PII) downgraded on anemic ORV growth at Wedbush... SQM (SQM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... Southwestern Energy (SWN) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Outperform from Buy at CLSA... Urban Outfitters (URBN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor... WM Morrison (MRWSY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... adidas (ADDDY) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... athenahealth (ATHN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.