MSC Industrial Direct Co. (NYSE:MSM) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 606,458 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 27% from the previous session’s volume of 477,676 shares.The stock last traded at $73.06 and had previously closed at $73.04.

Several equities research analysts have commented on MSM shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $78.00 price objective (down from $80.00) on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Macquarie started coverage on MSC Industrial Direct in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Saturday, June 18th. They set a “sell” rating on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price on MSC Industrial Direct from $64.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.44.

The firm has a market cap of $4.52 billion and a PE ratio of 19.82. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $72.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.20.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 6th. The company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.03 EPS. The firm earned $727.50 million during the quarter. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that MSC Industrial Direct Co. will post $3.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Steve Armstrong sold 3,732 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.35, for a total value of $273,742.20. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,144 shares in the company, valued at $1,184,162.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.

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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