MSC's Q3 Sales Down 7.1%; Earnings Slide Nearly 25%

The distributor confirmed earlier projections of results that fell “below expectations.”

MSC office, Houston, April 2021.
MSC office, Houston, April 2021.

MSC Industrial Supply on Tuesday confirmed that its sales fell by more than 7% in its latest fiscal quarter and disclosed a sharp decline in earnings.

The Long Island-lased metalworking and MRO distributor in mid-June issued “preliminary” sales numbers that were “softer than expected” in its third quarter — along with a reduced full-year forecast — amid problems with a new online systems and other factors.

Following a completed quarterly review process, MSC’s net sales came in at $979.4 million, down 7.1% compared to $1.05 billion reported in the same three-month window last year.

New totals reported on Tuesday included a nearly 25% year-over-year decline in net income attributed to MSC, which fell from more than $95 million down to shy of $72 million. That translated to a drop in diluted earnings from $1.69 per share last year to $1.27 per share in the latest quarter.

Gross profit, meanwhile, fell from nearly $429 million in the previous third quarter down to just over $400 million and a gross margin of 40.9%; the company’s operating margin was 10.9%, down from 12.8% over that span.

MSC President and CEO Erik Gershwind said following the June announcement that planned improvements to MSC’s website had fallen “behind schedule,” which impacted subsequent marketing efforts. Gershwind reiterated in a statement Tuesday that the company took “swift corrective actions” to begin addressing those issues.

The company made no new changes to its mid-June forecast for the full fiscal year, which anticipated a 4.3% to 4.7% drop in daily sales growth, along with an adjusted operating margin of between 10.5% and 10.7%.

“While results to date in fiscal 2024 are not up to our standards, we are confident we have the talent and strategy in place to achieve our long-term goals and create meaningful value for all stakeholders,” Gershwind said in the earnings release.

MSC ranked no. 9 on ID’s latest Big 50.

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