Fastenal (FAST) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $60.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fastenal have gained 16.6% in the past six months, comparing favorably with industry growth of 7.6%. Estimates for 2018 have moved north over the last 30 days, signaling analysts’ optimism. Fastenal’s aggressive investment to increase Onsite locations, vending machines count and ecommerce business is expected to boost sales. Industrial vending is one of the primary growth drivers for Fastenal and has the potential to significantly increase sales and profits. For 2018, the company is targeting signings in the range of 21,000 to 23,000. After a soft 2013, vending trends improved as management’s efforts to enhance the quality of signings/installs paid off. The company’s cost-saving initiative, Pathway-to-Profit, also bodes well. Meanwhile, changes in product and customer mix will continue to hurt margins in 2018.”

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Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $57.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Fastenal from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs began coverage on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Sunday, March 18th. They issued a sell rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock. Northcoast Research set a $60.00 target price on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Fastenal to a buy rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $54.07.

Shares of FAST opened at $53.65 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $15,990.33, a P/E ratio of 27.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a current ratio of 5.51, a quick ratio of 2.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $39.79 and a 1-year high of $58.74.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45. The business had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.08 billion. Fastenal had a net margin of 13.18% and a return on equity of 27.39%. Fastenal’s quarterly revenue was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.40 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Fastenal will post 2.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider William Joseph Drazkowski sold 7,500 shares of Fastenal stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total value of $424,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 9,460 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $535,814.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Charles S. Miller sold 26,250 shares of Fastenal stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.50, for a total transaction of $1,483,125.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 26,250 shares in the company, valued at $1,483,125. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.56% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Fastenal by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 16,833 shares of the company’s stock worth $921,000 after buying an additional 1,023 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in shares of Fastenal by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 10,807 shares of the company’s stock worth $589,000 after buying an additional 1,048 shares during the period. Cullinan Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Fastenal by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. now owns 116,001 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,344,000 after buying an additional 1,050 shares during the period. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Fastenal by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 35,815 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,959,000 after buying an additional 1,187 shares during the period. Finally, Reik & CO. LLC increased its stake in shares of Fastenal by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. Reik & CO. LLC now owns 8,190 shares of the company’s stock worth $448,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the period. 85.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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