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MSC Industrial shows positive results

Erik Gerschwind, 40, has been named president of

Erik Gerschwind, 40, has been named president of MSC Industrial Direct Inc.of Melville. Photo Credit: MSC

Optimistic customers who are ordering more workplace equipment helped MSC Industrial Direct Inc., of Melville, increase sales and profits in its most recent quarter, the company said Thursday.

Sales to a client base that includes factories, metalworking shops and schools were up 15 percent and profits, more than 25 percent.

The company sells online and through its hard-copy 4,432-page Big Book, listing about 600,000 products. It specializes in safety, repair and maintenance supplies.

"Market conditions reflect a moderate growth environment as customers are generally more optimistic as activity levels remain solid,” Erik Gershwind, president and chief operating officer, said. “They remain focused on productivity and cost reduction which bodes well for MSC.”

MSC made $59.8 million on sales of $545.7 million for the quarter ending Nov. 26, compared with $47.5 million on sales of $472.8 million in the same quarter the previous year. Earnings per diluted share rose 25 percent, to 95 cents a share.

MSC has a market capitalization of $4.55 billion, with $216.9-million profit on revenue of $2 billion in the past four quarters.

The company said it expects to show growth again in its next quarterly report, with expected sales of $548 million to $560 million.

The earnings report was issued before Thursday's market opening. Trading through midafternoon saw the company's shares fluctuate from $70.50 to $73.50.

Above, company president Erik Gershwind

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