Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

Expectations Versus Reality At MSC Industrial

When it comes to publicly traded companies, it's not enough to just operate to plan; even when companies don't necessarily set the expectations, they're still held accountable to them. MSC Industrial (NYSE:MSM) did not do all that badly relative to management's guidance last quarter, nor relative to the plan management laid out for the fiscal year. That said, expectations had been increasing since the last quarter, and MSC Industrial couldn't meet those.

I think it's early to worry about competitive share loss to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Grainger (NYSE:GWW), and/or Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST). Likewise, management deserves more time to prove that its Barnes acquisition (now known as Class C Solutions Group, or CCSG) will add...

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