MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) ¿ MSC Industrial Direct Co., which distributes maintenance and repair supplies, on Wednesday predicted fiscal first-quarter results above analyst estimates. The company said it expects a profit of 46 cents to 50 cents per share for the quarter ending in November on $378 million to $390 million in sales. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect profit of 42 cents per share on $355.6 million in sales. The company said its estimates are based on its performance in the first few weeks in the quarter, which began on Aug. 30. Also on Wednesday, MSC issued fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat average analysts' predictions. Profit fell because of shutdowns at some of its customers, but the shutdowns weren't as bad as expected, the company said. MSC shares rose $2.06, or 4.6 percent, to $47.38 in midday trading. They hit a 52-week high of $49.25 earlier in the day, eclipsing a previous peak of $46.84 set on Monday.
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