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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

MSC Industrial Direct ( MSM) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, MSC Industrial Direct rose 79 cents (1.1%) to $73.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 179,576 shares of MSC Industrial Direct exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 507,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $72.07-$73.38 after having opened the day at $72.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.26. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Crystal Rock Holdings ( CRVP), up 3%, Grupo Casa Saba S.A.B. de C.V ( SAB), up 2.7%, Wesco International ( WCC), up 1.6%, and Henry Schein ( HSIC), up 1.5%.
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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 $3.41 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate MSC Industrial Direct a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five 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, increase in stock price during the past year 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.

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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