MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (NYSE:MSM) – Equities research analysts at William Blair lifted their Q4 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a research report issued on Friday. William Blair analyst R. Merkel now anticipates that the industrial products company will post earnings per share of $1.40 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $1.24.
MSM has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective (up previously from $100.00) on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Monday, December 11th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $108.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Northcoast Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Gabelli upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, October 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $95.54.
MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 10th. The industrial products company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $768.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $770.95 million. MSC Industrial Direct had a net margin of 7.97% and a return on equity of 19.37%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.95 EPS.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Westpac Banking Corp boosted its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 14.8% during the third quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 79,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $6,030,000 after buying an additional 10,300 shares during the period. Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct during the third quarter worth about $521,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct during the second quarter worth about $12,989,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 10.7% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 467,125 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $40,153,000 after buying an additional 45,196 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 7.4% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 203,732 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $15,396,000 after buying an additional 14,046 shares during the period. 75.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other MSC Industrial Direct news, Director Mitchell Jacobson sold 64,040 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.81, for a total value of $6,135,672.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Steve Armstrong sold 19,162 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.98, for a total value of $1,820,006.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,275,771.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 351,029 shares of company stock valued at $30,227,216. Insiders own 31.38% of the company’s stock.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 30th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 16th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.56%. This is a boost from MSC Industrial Direct’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 12th. MSC Industrial Direct’s payout ratio is presently 55.90%.
MSC Industrial Direct declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, January 10th that permits the company to buyback 2,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the industrial products company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
MSC Industrial Direct Company Profile
MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc is a North American distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and services. The Company’s range of MRO products include 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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