Posted April 6, 2017

MSC sales rise 2.9 percent

MSC Industrial Supply reported sales for its fiscal second quarter were $703.8 million, an increase of 2.9% year-over-year.

Net income of $53.6 million, or 93 cents per share, compared to $49.5 million, or 80 cents, in the same period last year. 

"The environment continued to improve during our fiscal second quarter and the momentum sustained into March, the start of our fiscal third quarter. Most of our customers continue to express an improving outlook, particularly those in our core metalworking market. Our fiscal second quarter results reflected these developments," said Erik Gershwind, president and chief executive officer.

Rustom Jilla, executive vice president and chief financial officer, added, "Our second quarter growth of 2.9 percent was very welcomed after five quarters of declines in average daily sales. We turned this sales growth into an eight percent increase in operating income, with operating expenses as a percentage of sales declining by about 100 basis points, and operating margin improving roughly 50 basis points, evidence of the leverage potential in our business. Diluted earnings per share was up 16 percent over the prior year, with last August's share buyback and the share-based compensation tax change complementing our business performance."

Based on current market conditions, the company expects net sales for the third quarter to be between $734 million and $748 million. At the midpoint, average daily sales are expected to increase roughly 3.5 percent compared to last year's third quarter. 

Gershwind concluded, "We have used the last several years to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the prolonged downturn, and to focus on strengthening our business. Looking to the future, as the environment turns and momentum is building, I see a strong growth and leverage story playing out, particularly if inflation tailwinds continue to build as expected."