MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (NYSE:MSM) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Traders purchased 6,581 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 5,776% compared to the average volume of 112 call options.

MSM has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $93.00 price objective on MSC Industrial Direct and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Gabelli upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, October 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of MSC Industrial Direct in a report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Northcoast Research upgraded MSC Industrial Direct from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. MSC Industrial Direct has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $95.00.

In related news, Director Mitchell Jacobson sold 104,101 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.91, for a total value of $8,422,811.91. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Steven N. Baruch sold 5,762 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.25, for a total value of $468,162.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 225,541 shares of company stock worth $18,264,812 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 31.38% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its holdings in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 8.7% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,539 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $132,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,577 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $136,000 after acquiring an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. QS Investors LLC increased its holdings in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 1,749 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation purchased a new position in shares of MSC Industrial Direct in the 3rd quarter valued at about $150,000. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its holdings in shares of MSC Industrial Direct by 1,373.3% in the 3rd quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,210 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $167,000 after acquiring an additional 2,060 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.55% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MSC Industrial Direct (MSM) opened at $95.15 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.80, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16. MSC Industrial Direct has a 1-year low of $65.42 and a 1-year high of $105.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,370.00, a PE ratio of 22.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.67.

MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 10th. The industrial products company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.01). MSC Industrial Direct had a return on equity of 19.42% and a net margin of 8.01%. The company had revenue of $768.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $770.95 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.95 EPS. MSC Industrial Direct’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that MSC Industrial Direct will post 4.45 earnings per share for the current year.

MSC Industrial Direct declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 10th that allows the company to repurchase 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the industrial products company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 30th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This is an increase from MSC Industrial Direct’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 12th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.44%. MSC Industrial Direct’s dividend payout ratio is 46.27%.

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About MSC Industrial Direct

MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc is a North American distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and services. The Company’s range of MRO products include cutting tools, measuring instruments, tooling components, metalworking products, fasteners, flat stock, raw materials, abrasives, machinery hand and power tools, safety and janitorial supplies, plumbing supplies, materials handling products, power transmission components and electrical supplies.

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