MSC posts 12 percent sales gain

MSC Industrial Supply reported net sales of $768.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, a 12 percent gain from $686.3 million in last year's first quarter.

Net income of $59.6 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared to net income of $54.3 million, or 96 cents, in the same period last year.

"The environment remained solid in the first fiscal quarter, and our own business reflected this momentum, with growth rates improving or holding steady across all customer types," said Erik Gershwind, president and chief executive officer.

Rustom Jilla, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said average daily sales rose 12%, operating margin was 12.9%, and EPS rose by 9.4% over the prior year’s fiscal first quarter. 

Gershwind concluded, "Looking forward, it is an exciting time for U.S. manufacturing and MSC on multiple fronts. First, after several years of a weak pricing environment, many suppliers have now raised list prices, and we expect to follow suit in the near-term. Second, customer sentiment and industry indices are positive, pointing to continued U.S. manufacturing growth prospects. And third, we see the recent tax reform as a significant tailwind not just for our own EPS, but also for our customers and the broader manufacturing economy in the coming years. We are well positioned to take advantage of this better environment, particularly given the improvements that we have made to our business in recent years."