Fastenal (FAST) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal’s first-quarter 2019 earnings and sales topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.5% and 0.6%, and grew 11.9% and 10.4%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis, given higher market demand, and growth in industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations. It recorded solid operating margin (up 20 bps) for the third consecutive quarter. Higher market demand, growth in industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations have been driving Fastenal’s performance over the last few quarters. Shares of Fastenal have outperformed its industry year to date. Estimates have been trending upward. It expects to realize double-digit growth in 2019 from a combination of company-specific growth drivers and price realization. Meanwhile, sales through vending devices grew in high teens in the quarter, due to higher installed base. However, product and freight inflation, and unfavorable product mix have been hurting its gross margins.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on FAST. Buckingham Research set a $65.00 target price on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 12th. Raymond James set a $78.00 target price on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 12th. Northcoast Research downgraded shares of Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Fastenal from $55.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Fastenal has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.70.

NASDAQ:FAST opened at $69.94 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $19.68 billion, a PE ratio of 26.59, a PEG ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 4.31 and a quick ratio of 1.97. Fastenal has a 52-week low of $47.37 and a 52-week high of $69.88.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 11th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.30 billion. Fastenal had a return on equity of 33.52% and a net margin of 15.16%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.61 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Fastenal will post 2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Leland J. Hein sold 22,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $1,420,425.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 30,111 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,900,907.43. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Nicholas J. Lundquist sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.51, for a total value of $302,550.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 216,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,070,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 87,083 shares of company stock valued at $5,458,662. Corporate insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of FAST. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Fastenal by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,459,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,883,293,000 after acquiring an additional 311,099 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in Fastenal by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 32,459,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,883,293,000 after acquiring an additional 311,099 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,919,843 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,041,607,000 after purchasing an additional 633,546 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,859,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $829,314,000 after purchasing an additional 1,134,666 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,165,575 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,478,000 after purchasing an additional 225,481 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.57% of the company’s stock.

About Fastenal

Fastenal Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers fasteners, and other industrial and construction supplies under the Fastenal name. The company's fastener products include threaded fasteners, such as bolts, nuts, screws, studs, and related washers, which are used in manufactured products and construction projects, as well as in the maintenance and repair of machines.

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