MSC Industrial Direct sees higher sales, but mixed outlook

Manufacturing tools distributor MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. said its sales and profits were up in its fiscal first quarter ending Dec. 1, while acknowledging that the future is less certain. The company saw an 8.8% increase in sales to $437.6 million and a 16.3% hike in earnings in its first quarter versus the same period a year ago, but the company's President-CEO David Sandler referred to currently "mixed" market conditions that include "many pockets of strength," but also a generally less-optimistic customer base. He added, "We can continue to take market share ... while also prudently investing in our future to ensure that we are best positioned to take advantage of improvements in the marketplace as they occur."

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