Stephens upgraded shares of MSC Industrial Direct Co. (NYSE:MSM) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report issued on Monday morning.

MSM has been the subject of several other reports. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a hold rating on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Sunday, September 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG began coverage on MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Friday, August 19th. They issued an underperform rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. Macquarie began coverage on MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a neutral rating and a $80.00 target price for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $76.25.

Analyst Recommendations for MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM)

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) traded up 0.39% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $87.13. 203,229 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $75.51 and a 200-day moving average price of $73.59. The company has a market cap of $4.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.11 and a beta of 0.45. MSC Industrial Direct has a one year low of $54.19 and a one year high of $87.58.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.04. The business earned $745.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $736.53 million. MSC Industrial Direct had a return on equity of 17.62% and a net margin of 8.07%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.96 EPS. On average, analysts predict that MSC Industrial Direct will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 29th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 11th. This is a boost from MSC Industrial Direct’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.07%. MSC Industrial Direct’s payout ratio is currently 47.87%.

In related news, SVP Christopher Davanzo sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.50, for a total value of $250,500.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 9,505 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $793,667.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Douglas E. Jones sold 4,517 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.01, for a total value of $329,786.17. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 12,806 shares in the company, valued at approximately $934,966.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 31.75% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Grandeur Peak Global Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 1.3% in the third quarter. Grandeur Peak Global Advisors LLC now owns 76,775 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,636,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 77.3% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 13,480 shares of the company’s stock valued at $990,000 after buying an additional 5,878 shares in the last quarter. Dean Investment Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 0.3% in the third quarter. Dean Investment Associates LLC now owns 38,063 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,794,000 after buying an additional 132 shares in the last quarter. Usca Ria LLC bought a new stake in shares of MSC Industrial Direct during the third quarter valued at approximately $1,802,000. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 302.9% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 79,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,830,000 after buying an additional 59,704 shares in the last quarter. 83.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MSC Industrial Direct Company Profile

MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc (MSC) is direct marketers and distributors of a range of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products to customers throughout the United States. The Company operates primarily in the United States, with customers in all 50 states, through a network of five customer fulfillment centers (four customer fulfillment centers are located within the United States and one is located in the United Kingdom and 106 branch offices (104 branches are located within the United States, one is located in the United Kingdom and the other is located in Mexico).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MSM

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