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Revenues, net income dip at MSC Industrial on slack demand

Erik Gershwind, CEO of MSC Industrial Direct Co.,

Erik Gershwind, CEO of MSC Industrial Direct Co., in Melville on March 27, 2013. Credit: Johnny Milano

MSC Industrial Direct Co. said revenue and net income fell in its fiscal second quarter as the Melville distributor of industrial tools and supplies continued to grapple with slack demand in the manufacturing sector.

Sales totaled $684.1 million in the quarter that ended Feb. 27, down 3.2 percent from a year earlier. The revenue fell short of the Bloomberg analysts’ consensus that called for $686.9 million. In January, when MSC released its fiscal first-quarter results, it said it expected second-quarter sales to drop to between $680 million and $692 million, given the economic conditions.

Net income declined 3.9 percent to $49.5 million in the latest quarter. Per-share earnings dropped 3.6 percent to 80 cents.

MSC shares closed Wednesday at $73.17, down $1.17, or 1.57 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.

“The market environment during our fiscal second quarter remained challenging, consistent with continued low levels of demand in the industrial economy and particularly in metalworking and heavy manufacturing,” said Erik Gershwind, the company’s president and chief executive. “Should conditions improve, the combination of share gains, gross margin stabilization and improvements to our cost structure will result in strong earnings growth.”

The company, one of the world’s largest distributors in its industry, has a second headquarters in Davidson, North Carolina.

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