Sunday, November 5, 2017

Better Late Than Never For MSC Industrial

One of the recent concerns about industrial maintenance, repair, and overhaul (or MRO) supply distributor MSC Industrial (NYSE:MSM) was why this leading distributor of metalworking tools (among other MRO supplies) was not seeing more benefit from the emerging industrial recovery in North America. Those concerns should ease a bit with the strong daily sales reported for the fiscal fourth quarter, but the company's long-term margin leverage remains a key question, and increased competition from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and now Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) shouldn't be ignored.

I've owned MSC Industrial for some time, and I've written many times that when there's a conflict between "good company" and "good valuation", I go with the former. That said, there are legitimate arguments as to whether MSC is as good of a company as it used to be and whether today's valuation already captures a lot of what can go right for the business. Although I'm not rushing for the door, and there aren't a lot of clear bargains in the industrial space, it's hard for me to make a buy-case on the stock beyond a play on improving trends (momentum) in metalworking and related industries and at least a few more beat-and-raise quarters.

Read more here:
Better Late Than Never For MSC Industrial

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