Investors are on the edge of their seats, hoping that MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, Oct. 17. MSC Industrial Direct, together with its subsidiaries, is a direct marketer and distributor of a range of metalworking, maintenance, repair, and operations products to customers throughout the United States.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on MSC Industrial Direct with five of nine analysts rating it hold. Analysts like MSC Industrial Direct better than competitor Fastenal overall. Three out of nine analysts rate Fastenal a buy compared to four of nine for MSC Industrial Direct. Analysts haven't adjusted their rating of MSC Industrial Direct for the past three months.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $527.2 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 14.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.86 per share. Estimates range from $0.83 to $0.88.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 99% awarding it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 97.7% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about MSC Industrial Direct, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 80 posts in the past 30 days. MSC Industrial Direct has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

MSC Industrial Direct's profit has risen year over year by an average of 55.8% over the past five quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.






Gross Margin





Operating Margin





Net Margin





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