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MSC Industrial fiscal 2Q net income falls 7 pct

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) -- MSC Industrial Direct Co., a distributor of industrial tools and supplies, said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter net income fell 7 percent due to weak demand from metalworking customers. Its outlook for the current period disappointed, and shares slid in morning trading.

For the quarter ended March 2, the Melville, N.Y.-based company earned $56.1 million, or 88 cents per share, down from $60.1 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding costs related to an acquisition, the most recent quarter's profit came to 90 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations.

Revenue rose 1 percent, to $569.5 million from $563 million. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $571.6 million.

MSC said demand from heavy industrial markets, particularly metalworking-related industries, remains weak. It is focused on cutting costs. The company expects continued slack demand, and its outlook for the current quarter fell share of Wall Street predictions.

It projected fiscal third-quarter profit of 95 cents to 99 cents per share, excluding one-time items, on $597 million to $609 million in revenue. Analysts expect earnings of $1.10 per share on $633.9 million in revenue.

MSC shares fell $4.35, or 5.2 percent, to $78.83 in morning trading.