Why MSC Industrial Is Poised to Outperform

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, metalworking products distributor MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at MSC and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

MSC facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Melville, N.Y. (1941)

Market Cap

$4.7 billion


Trading companies and distributors

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$2.4 billion


CEO/COO Erik Gershwind
CFO Jeffrey Kaczka

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)



$233.5 million / $3.3 million

Dividend Yield



Align Aerospace
Applied Industrial Technologies
W.W. Grainger

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 502 members who have rated MSC believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

A couple of months ago, one of those bulls, fellow Fool Andy Cross (TMFOpie), succinctly summed up the MSC bull case for our community:

A leader in helping industrial and manufacturing companies ring the cash register by managing inventories. MSC's BlueBook is legendary in the metal tooling and industrial supply biz. The company offers more than 600k SKUs and overnight shipping at same price. Only 40% of its business is via the Internet now and growing. The next CEO (only the 4th in the company's 80 year history) built the Internet platform and has been at MSC since the late 90s. The company handled the transition very well, making the announcement two years ago. The stock isn't expensive and while there are ISM risks and manufacturing slowdowns, MSC has navigated these before and will again. Thumbs up.

If you want market-topping returns, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Of course, despite its five-star rating, MSC may not be your top choice.

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