Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on MSM. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on shares of MSC Industrial Direct from $90.00 to $86.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Northcoast Research restated a buy rating on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Buckingham Research boosted their price target on shares of MSC Industrial Direct from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. William Blair lowered shares of MSC Industrial Direct from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of MSC Industrial Direct from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, May 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $86.56.

NYSE MSM opened at $72.88 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 1.18 and a current ratio of 2.19. MSC Industrial Direct has a 12 month low of $69.81 and a 12 month high of $90.83. The company has a market capitalization of $4.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 0.96.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 10th. The industrial products company reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.26 by ($0.02). MSC Industrial Direct had a return on equity of 21.20% and a net margin of 8.88%. The business had revenue of $823.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $826.98 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 earnings per share. On average, research analysts expect that MSC Industrial Direct will post 5.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Steven N. Baruch sold 5,404 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.00, for a total transaction of $443,128.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Douglas E. Jones sold 2,126 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.50, for a total transaction of $177,521.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,496 shares in the company, valued at $625,916. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 27.96% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Investors Research Corp bought a new stake in MSC Industrial Direct in the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new stake in MSC Industrial Direct in the fourth quarter worth approximately $35,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 1,212.1% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 761 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $60,000 after acquiring an additional 703 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 25.1% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,151 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $89,000 after acquiring an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc grew its position in MSC Industrial Direct by 71.4% in the first quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 1,200 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $98,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 76.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MSC Industrial Direct Company Profile

MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products 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 products, 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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Analyst Recommendations for MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM)

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