Shares of MSC Industrial Direct Co. (NYSE:MSM) fell 0.4% during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $73.51 and last traded at $73.57, with a volume of 428,912 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $73.86.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on MSM. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $78.00 target price (down previously from $80.00) on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a research report on Thursday. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on MSC Industrial Direct from $64.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised MSC Industrial Direct from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Credit Suisse Group AG began coverage on MSC Industrial Direct in a research report on Saturday, June 18th. They issued a “sell” rating on the stock. Finally, TheStreet raised MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $75.00.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $72.89 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.45 billion and a PE ratio of 19.65.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 6th. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $727.50 million for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.03 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that MSC Industrial Direct Co. will post $3.72 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 26th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 12th will be issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 8th.

In other news, SVP Steve Armstrong sold 3,732 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.50, for a total transaction of $285,498.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,235,016. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman David Sandler sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.50, for a total value of $111,750.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 78,468 shares in the company, valued at $5,845,866. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MSM. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 31.7% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 142,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,029,000 after buying an additional 34,353 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 2,761.3% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 82,205 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,626,000 after buying an additional 79,332 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 479.6% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 76,834 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,324,000 after buying an additional 63,578 shares during the last quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 51.3% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 31,210 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,755,000 after buying an additional 10,587 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP raised its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 197.9% in the fourth quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP now owns 19,467 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,095,000 after buying an additional 12,932 shares during the last quarter.

MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc (MSC) is direct marketers and distributors of a range of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products to customers throughout the United States. The Company operates primarily in the United States, with customers in all 50 states, through a network of five customer fulfillment centers (four customer fulfillment centers are located within the United States and one is located in the United Kingdom and 106 branch offices (104 branches are located within the United States, one is located in the United Kingdom and the other is located in Mexico).

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