Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded Fastenal Co. (FAST) to Hold

Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded Fastenal Co. (FAST) to Hold

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors 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.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Vetr cut Fastenal from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $42.46 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $45.00 price objective on Fastenal and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Argus cut Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 14th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Thursday, October 13th. Finally, Macquarie initiated coverage on Fastenal in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.93.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 46.36 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $13.40 billion, a PE ratio of 26.98 and a beta of 0.92. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $35.10 and a 1-year high of $49.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $41.34 and a 200 day moving average price of $42.84.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 11th. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the 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 firm earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Fastenal will post $1.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, Director Michael J. Ancius bought 700 shares of Fastenal stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 13th. The stock was bought at an average price of $38.82 per share, for a total transaction of $27,174.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Leland J. Hein sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.15, for a total value of $46,150.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.78% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 5.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,835,227 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,235,606,000 after buying an additional 1,371,768 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 1.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,471,644 shares of the company’s stock worth $312,165,000 after buying an additional 122,079 shares during the period. Polen Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 11.9% in the second quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 7,163,432 shares of the company’s stock worth $317,985,000 after buying an additional 764,398 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 4.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,920,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $205,577,000 after buying an additional 198,533 shares during the period. Finally, Route One Investment Company L.P. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 9.3% in the second quarter. Route One Investment Company L.P. now owns 3,838,962 shares of the company’s stock worth $170,412,000 after buying an additional 327,655 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 76.20% of the company’s stock.

About Fastenal

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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