Zacks Investment Research Lowers Fastenal Co. (FAST) to Sell
Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued 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 brokerages have also recently commented on FAST. Vetr cut shares of Fastenal from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $42.46 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Thursday. Argus cut shares of Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.15.
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Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) traded up 0.57% during trading on Friday, reaching $38.56. 496,643 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.03 and a beta of 0.99. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $35.10 and a 1-year high of $49.99. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $41.44 and its 200-day moving average price is $44.06.
Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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 business earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.47 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Fastenal will post $1.74 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 25th will be issued a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 21st. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.13%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is currently 69.77%.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cantab Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in Fastenal during the second quarter valued at approximately $119,000. American Research & Management Co. raised its stake in 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 raised its stake in 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. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its stake in Fastenal by 32.0% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,131 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 759 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its stake in Fastenal by 0.6% in the second quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 3,420 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.12% of the company’s stock.
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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