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MSC Industrial revenue growth slows

Erik Gershwind, president and chief executive of MSC

Erik Gershwind, president and chief executive of MSC Industrial Direct, in the company's Melville office. Credit: Newsday, 2012 / Thomas A. Ferrara

Weak demand for its industrial tools and supplies slowed revenue growth for MSC Industrial Direct Co. in its fiscal second quarter, the company said Wednesday.

Net income fell as well, and Melville-based MSC's stock dropped sharply Wednesday on the weaker results to $79.89 a share, down $3.29, or nearly 4 percent.

Revenue, which missed analysts' expectations, rose 1.2 percent to $569.5 million in the quarter ended March 2, from $563 million a year earlier. Analysts had expected $571.9 million. Net income dropped 7 percent to $56.1 million, from $60.1 million a year earlier. Per-share income fell to 89 cents a share, from 95 cents.

Operating income, or income derived from running the business, fell 6.1 percent to $90.6 million from $96.5 million. That number declined in part because of $1.8 million in expenses associated with the company's previously announced purchase of a Cleveland-based industrial distributor and the establishment of a second headquarters in North Carolina.

"While demand from heavy industrial-end markets, and specifically the metalworking related sectors, has yet to rebound and continued at low levels, we remain pleased with the execution of our plan," said MSC's president and chief executive Erik Gershwind.

For the six months, sales rose 3.5 percent to $1.15 billion from $1.11 billion a year earlier. Net income fell less than 1 percent to $119.3 million, from $119.9 million the year before.

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