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MSC Industrial beats Wall Street's expectations in fiscal 2Q on higher prices

Trade concerns and the government shutdown are contributing to an uncertain outlook for industrial equipment suppliers, according to CEO Erik Gershwind
warehouse with workers
MSC expects it will earn between $1.22 and $1.28 per share in fiscal 2Q

MSC Industrial Direct Co (NYSE:MSM) on Wednesday matched Wall Street’s profit estimates for its fiscal first quarter and exceeded revenue projections, thanks to higher prices.

In a statement, Erik Gershwind, CEO of the distributor of industrial tools and supplies, reported that there is more uncertainty now surrounding the industrial economy due to “potential economic and trade overhangs” and the government shut-down.

READ: MSC Industrial Direct shares slip after missing Wall Street's fiscal 3Q revenue estimate

In its latest quarter, higher prices boosted earnings while increases in the cost of products posed headwinds, according to the company.

Looking ahead, Gershwind expects to introduce “meaningful” price increases in the fiscal second quarter to offset the company’s increasing manufacturing costs.

“This price increase, coupled with increasing traction from our sales transformation efforts, drives our expectation of significantly higher operating margins in the second half of the fiscal year,” Gershwind said in a statement.

In the three months ending December 1, the Melville, New York-based company posted earnings of $74.2 million, or $1.33 per share, which were in line with Wall Street’s expectations.

Sales, meanwhile, jumped 8% to $831.6 million from the year-ago quarter, and also came in ahead of the consensus estimate of $830.47 million.

Looking to the second quarter, MSC expects it will earn between $1.22 and $1.28 per share and see sales in a range of $817 million to $833 million.

MSC shares slipped by 0.5% to hit $77.56 in Wednesday’s morning trading session.

 

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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