Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Fastenal (FAST) to Buy

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, January 19th. The firm currently has a $58.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 6.13% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues surpassed the same. Sales grew 14.8%  on increased units owing to higher underlying market demand and growth in industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations. The acquisition of Mansco contributed 1.4% to sales. Daily sales of fastener products increased 13.4% in the quarter while that of non-fastener products rose 16.1% year over year. Fastenal operated 71,421 vending machines as of the end of 2017, up 13.7% year over year. After a soft 2013, vending trends improved as management’s efforts to enhance the quality of signings/installs paid off. However, gross margins continue to decline, decreasing 97 basis points in the quarter, owing to changes in product and customer mix, the addition of Mansco higher freight expenses, investments in hub assets and commodity inflation. The trend is expected to continue in 2018.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price objective (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Stephens lifted their price objective on Fastenal from $54.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $46.00 price target (up previously from $44.00) on shares of Fastenal in a report on Monday, October 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $53.29.

Fastenal (NASDAQ FAST) traded up $1.08 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $54.65. The stock had a trading volume of 2,536,424 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,274,385. The firm has a market cap of $15,600.00, a P/E ratio of 25.90, a PEG ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a quick ratio of 2.40, a current ratio of 5.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. Fastenal has a fifty-two week low of $39.79 and a fifty-two week high of $57.81.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.45. The business had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.08 billion. Fastenal had a return on equity of 27.39% and a net margin of 13.18%. The business’s revenue was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.40 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Fastenal will post 2.5 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Terry Modock Owen sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.02, for a total transaction of $1,440,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Leland J. Hein sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $510,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,588 shares in the company, valued at $1,151,988. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 78,884 shares of company stock valued at $4,059,512 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 17.3% in the 4th quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 59,314 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,245,000 after purchasing an additional 8,755 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 54,032 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,954,000 after purchasing an additional 5,073 shares in the last quarter. OLD Mission Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $462,000. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 852,674 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,633,000 after acquiring an additional 20,799 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ellington Management Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $213,000. 84.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Fastenal

Fastenal Company is engaged in wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies. The Company is engaged in fastener distribution, and non-fastener maintenance and supply business. As of December 31, 2016, it distributed these supplies through a network of approximately 2,500 stores. Its customers are in the manufacturing and non-residential construction markets.

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