MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (MSM): Today's Featured Wholesale Leader

MSC Industrial Direct ( MSM) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale leader. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2%. By the end of trading, MSC Industrial Direct rose $1.26 (1.9%) to $69.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 874,604 shares of MSC Industrial Direct exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 655,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $65.97-$69.52 after having opened the day at $66.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.80. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: SinoHub ( SIHI), up 3.9%, Tessco Technologies ( TESS), up 2.7%, Wayside Technology Group ( WSTG), up 2.3%, and DXP ( DXPE), up 1.7%.

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a direct marketer and distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products to industrial customers in the United States. MSC Industrial Direct has a market cap of $3.18 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.3, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are six analysts that rate MSC Industrial Direct a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MSC Industrial Direct as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Armco Metals Holdings ( CNAM), down 10.3%, Taitron Components ( TAIT), down 10%, SED International Holdings ( SED), down 7.3%, and Senomyx ( SNMX), down 6.5%, were all laggards within the wholesale industry with Genuine Parts Company ( GPC) being today's wholesale industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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