Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal is boosting sales performance at stores through additional sales support and vending machine installations. The company’s cost-saving initiative, Pathway-to-Profit, also bodes well. After a soft 2013, vending trends improved through 2014, 2015 and 2016 as management’s efforts to enhance the quality of signings/installs paid off. The company plans to continue opening stores in 2017 to sustain and improve its network and drive growth. Though, shares of Fastenal lost 7.6% year to date, estimates for the current year has been trending north in the past 60 days. However, the company’s margins continue to remain under pressure.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Fastenal Company from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Fastenal Company in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group set a $52.00 price objective on Fastenal Company and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Stephens began coverage on Fastenal Company in a report on Friday, June 2nd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $54.00 price objective for the company. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co began coverage on Fastenal Company in a report on Friday, June 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 price objective for the company. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $50.03.

Analyst Recommendations for Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST)

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) traded down 0.85% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $43.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 853,977 shares. The stock has a market cap of $12.45 billion, a PE ratio of 24.60 and a beta of 0.91. The company’s 50-day moving average is $44.19 and its 200-day moving average is $48.00. Fastenal Company has a 12 month low of $37.70 and a 12 month high of $52.74.

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 12th. The company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46. The firm had revenue of $1.05 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.04 billion. Fastenal Company had a return on equity of 26.39% and a net margin of 12.61%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Fastenal Company will post $1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 24th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 26th were given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, April 24th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.95%. Fastenal Company’s payout ratio is 73.14%.

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In other Fastenal Company news, CFO Holden Lewis acquired 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $43.76 per share, with a total value of $43,760.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $43,760. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Darren R. Jackson acquired 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 28th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $44.75 per share, for a total transaction of $223,750.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 6,700 shares of company stock worth $299,343. 0.55% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FAST. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its position in Fastenal Company by 101.6% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 11,704 shares of the company’s stock valued at $550,000 after buying an additional 5,899 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its position in Fastenal Company by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 124,967 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,005,000 after buying an additional 4,419 shares in the last quarter. Cipher Capital LP acquired a new position in Fastenal Company during the fourth quarter valued at $690,000. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position in Fastenal Company by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 4,521 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in Fastenal Company by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 16,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $778,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. 82.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Fastenal Company

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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