Zacks Investment Research Downgrades MSC Industrial Direct (MSM) to Sell

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. is one of the premier distributors of Metalworking and Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) supplies to industrial customers throughout the United States. MSC distributes approximately 590,000 industrial products from approximately 3,000 suppliers to approximately 350,000 customers. MSC reaches its customers through a combination of approximately 27 million direct-mail catalogs and CD-ROMs, 96 branch sales offices, 927 sales people, the Internet and associations with some of the world’s most prominent B2B e-commerce portals. “

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on MSM. Deutsche Bank set a $102.00 price objective on shares of MSC Industrial Direct and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Gabelli downgraded shares of MSC Industrial Direct from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $99.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Friday, March 16th. Goldman Sachs began coverage on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Sunday, March 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $107.00 price objective on the stock. Susquehanna Bancshares restated a “hold” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Stephens set a $114.00 price objective on shares of MSC Industrial Direct and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $97.85.

Shares of MSC Industrial Direct stock opened at $92.00 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $5,193.95, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.72, a PEG ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16. MSC Industrial Direct has a one year low of $65.42 and a one year high of $99.94.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 10th. The industrial products company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.01). MSC Industrial Direct had a net margin of 7.97% and a return on equity of 19.37%. The company had revenue of $768.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $770.95 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.95 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that MSC Industrial Direct will post 5.12 EPS for the current year.

MSC Industrial Direct declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, January 10th that allows the company to repurchase 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other MSC Industrial Direct news, CEO Erik Gershwind sold 37,703 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.16, for a total value of $3,550,114.48. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 117,885 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,100,051.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Christopher Davanzo sold 12,046 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.43, for a total value of $1,125,457.78. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 12,432 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,161,521.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 783,437 shares of company stock worth $74,083,049. 31.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 4.8% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 233,134 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $22,535,000 after purchasing an additional 10,585 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 49.1% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,294 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $222,000 after purchasing an additional 755 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 76,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $7,423,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 30.6% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 372,507 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $28,150,000 after purchasing an additional 87,188 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 37.4% in the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 13,182 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $996,000 after purchasing an additional 3,589 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.35% of the company’s stock.

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MSC Industrial Direct Company Profile

MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes various ranges of metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products primarily in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company's MRO products comprise cutting tools, measuring instruments, tooling components, metalworking products, fasteners, flat stock, raw materials, abrasives, machinery hand and power tools, safety and janitorial supplies, plumbing supplies, materials handling products, power transmission components, and electrical supplies.

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