Thursday, October 21, 2010

MSC’s fourth-quarter sales rise 30%

Distributor credits solid results to market share gains as a result of ongoing business investment during the downturn

MSC Industrial Direct today reported sales and earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended August 28, 2010.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 30% for the New York-based distributor of metalworking and MRO supplies, reaching $461 million compared to $354 million in the prior-year period. Net income for the quarter was $44 million, up 70% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. The company’s quarterly earnings rose 70% to 70 cents a share, compared with 41 cents a share in the same period a year ago. MSC noted that the 2010 fourth quarter had one less sales day than the prior-year period.

For the full year, sales rose to $1.69 billion compared to $1.49 billion in 2009, while net income rose to $150 million compared to $125 million last year, and earnings per share were $2.37 compared with $1.99 in 2009.

MSC executives cited ongoing investments in the company throughout the economic downturn as a key to the strong quarterly and full-year results.

“Throughout this period of economic uncertainty, MSC’s strategy has been to invest in the business to capitalize on the opportunities in the marketplace to gain share and grow profitably. I am pleased to say that our results reflect the benefits of these efforts,” president and CEO David Sandler said in a statement announcing the results. “While our recent performance is encouraging, we believe it is only the beginning of a long-term growth story. Looking ahead, we expect to leverage our advantages in the marketplace to continue to generate strong results for all of our stakeholders.”

MSC also announced a new management succession plan. Sandler will continue to serve as president and CEO for the next two to three years before transitioning to vice chairman of MSC’s board of directors, where he will serve until at least 2016.

Erik Gershwind, MSC’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, will succeed succeed Sandler as CEO.

MSC said there are no changes to management roles or responsibilities and no other executive leadership changes at this time.

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