NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MSC Industrial Direct (MSM - Get Report) closed higher by 2.43% to $72.52 on heavy trading volume Wednesday after the Melville, NY-based company reported better-than-expected earnings for the 2016 fiscal third quarter.

Before today's opening bell, the industrial equipment distributor posted adjusted earnings of $1.05 per diluted share, topping analysts' forecasts of $1 per share.

But revenue dropped 2.4% to $727.5 million from last year and missed Wall Street's estimates of $734.2 million.

For the fourth quarter, MSC Industrial sees earnings per diluted share between 96 cents and $1 on revenue between $730 million and $742 million, lower than analysts' expectations.

Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.02 per share on revenue of $757.6 million for the current period.

About 1.07 million of the company's shares changed hands today compared to its average volume of 500,138 shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSM