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MSC Industrial Direct posts $745.5 million net sales

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Long Island's fifth largest

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Long Island's fifth largest company by revenue, Tuesday posted a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase in third quarter net sales to $745.5 million despite the impact of lower oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar. Photo Credit: MSC Industrial Supply

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Long Island's fifth-largest company by revenue, Tuesday posted a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase in third-quarter net sales to $745.5 million, despite the impact of lower oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar.

The Melville-based distributor of industrial tools and supplies reported a 2 percent decline in net income to $63.3 million compared to the same period a year ago though earnings per diluted share remained static at $1.03.

President and chief executive Erik Gershwind said that organic growth came despite "the continued impact of the soft pricing environment and the lingering effects of the rapid change in oil prices, softening export demand and foreign exchange headwinds."

In a conference call with analysts, Gershwind explained that sales to oil and gas producers dipped. That industry has retrenched amid lower energy prices.

On Monday the company, which has a second headquarters in Davidson, North Carolina, announced that it had hired Rustom Jilla as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective July 20.

Jilla succeeds Jeff Kaczka, who previously announced retirement plans.

Kaczka said the company was able to report earnings per share above its forecast for the quarter ended May 31 through "prompt actions we took to manage our operating expenses."

The company projected fiscal fourth-quarter net sales of $735 million to $747 million and diluted earnings per share of 93-97 cents.

Shares of MSC climbed 3.10 percent Tuesday to $70.09.

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