Today, Fastenal Co. (FAST) Upgrade at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Fastenal Co. (FAST) Upgrade at The Zacks Investment Research

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal Company reported lower-than expected results in the third quarter of 2016, missing estimates for both earnings and sales. Fastenal’s revenues are being hurt as the sales of fasteners into heavy manufacturing, construction end markets were relatively weak. It is due to overall weakness in the industrial economy. An unfavorable customer mix and product mix resulted in below average gross margins. In fact, the company does not see any improvement in gross margin rates through the rest of 2016 as well. That said, the company’s cost-saving initiative Pathway-to-Profit bode well. Meanwhile, vending trends continue to improve in 2016 as efforts to improve the quality of signings/installs paid off. In 2016, the company intends to increase its investment in the vending program and expects it to outperform through 2016 and beyond.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on FAST. Macquarie started coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Fastenal in a report on Sunday, September 4th. Vetr lowered shares of Fastenal from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $42.46 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $45.00 target price on shares of Fastenal and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $45.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, October 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.93.

Shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) traded up 0.28% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $46.37. The stock had a trading volume of 537,607 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $41.15 and its 200 day moving average price is $42.89. The company has a market cap of $13.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.99 and a beta of 0.92. Fastenal has a 52 week low of $35.10 and a 52 week high of $49.99.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 11th. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. Fastenal had a return on equity of 26.84% and a net margin of 12.61%. The business earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.47 EPS. Fastenal’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Fastenal will post $1.71 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 25th were issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 21st. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 69.77%.

In other Fastenal news, Director Michael J. Ancius acquired 700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 13th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $38.82 per share, with a total value of $27,174.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.78% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FAST. Sandy Spring Bank acquired a new position in Fastenal during the third quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Cantab Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in Fastenal during the second quarter valued at approximately $119,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Fastenal by 26.1% in the third quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. American Research & Management Co. increased its position in Fastenal by 191.5% in the second quarter. American Research & Management Co. now owns 2,740 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Finally, Washington Trust Bank increased its position in Fastenal by 2.3% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. 81.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Fastenal Company Profile

Fastenal Company is engaged in wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies. The Company distributes these supplies through a network of approximately 2,600 Company-owned stores. The Company sells industrial and construction supplies to end users (business-to-business), and also has a walk-in retail business.

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