MSC Expects Growth, Despite Weak Demand

Company reports continued share gains and increased e-commerce sales.

Despite a year-over-year decrease in 2Q sales and negative growth rates, MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (NYSE: MSM), Melville, NY, is optimistic about where the company is headed, said CEO Eric Gershwind in the company's second-quarter earnings call.

"When we look at our growth relative to market, we feel very good about the performance and that’s confirmed most specifically from our suppliers," Gershwind said. "And I’d also call out the large accounts area, which continues to be an export national accounts and government area where we’ve continued to feel that we’ve won."

E-commerce sales also continue to grow, up 0.8 percent from the prior quarter and up 2.4 percent from last year.

Its current performance makes MSC optimistic, in spite of the weak demand. "There is a sense that the industrial economy may be stabilizing albeit at low levels," said Gershwind. Macro indices, industry surveys and supplier feedback indicate growth going forward, particularly in the metalworking sector.

In the year ahead, the company expects a slight increase in sales and service headcount, with sales and service expansion being an important driver of future growth.

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