Trade Report: Today: Fastenal Co. (FAST) Upgrade by The Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Today: Fastenal Co. (FAST) Upgrade by The Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published 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 research firms also recently commented on FAST. Vetr downgraded shares of Fastenal from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating and set a $42.46 target price for the company. in a research 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 research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $45.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Thursday, October 13th. Argus downgraded shares of Fastenal from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, October 14th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Sunday, September 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Fastenal currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $47.93.

Shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 46.37 on Friday. Fastenal has a 12 month low of $35.10 and a 12 month high of $49.99. The stock has a market cap of $13.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.99 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $41.23 and a 200-day moving average price of $42.89.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 25th were paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 21st. Fastenal’s payout ratio is currently 69.77%.

In related news, Director Michael J. Ancius purchased 700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 13th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $38.82 per share, for a total transaction of $27,174.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.78% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sandy Spring Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the third quarter valued at about $111,000. Cantab Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the second quarter valued at about $119,000. American Research & Management Co. boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.20% of the company’s stock.

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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