MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) ¿ MSC Industrial Direct Co., which distributes maintenance and repair supplies, said Thursday its fiscal second-quarter profit fell 45 percent due to the deteriorating economy, though it still beat Wall Street expectations. The Melville, N.Y., company also offered third-quarter profit and revenue guidance that was below analysts' estimates. Its shares rose 10 percent in midday trading. MSC Industrial earned $26.3 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 28, down from $47.5 million, or 73 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 19 percent to $351.9 million from $436.5 million in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $357.7 million. "We are operating through one of the most severe economic situations our industry has experienced," said David Sandler, president and CEO. "Feedback from our customers indicates that the market conditions they face became even more challenging as the quarter progressed, and most are responding with additional efforts to reduce their labor costs and inventory." MSC Industrial Direct said it expects third-quarter earnings to be between 37 cents per share and 41 cents per share on revenue of $339 million to $351 million. Analysts expect earnings to be 43 cents per share on revenue of $379.4 million, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. MSC Industrial shares rose $3.31, or 10.3 percent, to $35.44 in midday trading Thursday ad the broader market moved sharply higher.
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