Shares of Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) have been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the eighteen brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $50.57.

FAST has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $43.00 price target (down from $46.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Monday, June 26th. UBS AG raised Fastenal from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Fastenal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd.

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In related news, Director Stephen L. Eastman bought 800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $40.58 per share, for a total transaction of $32,464.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Leland J. Hein sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.14, for a total value of $471,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 21,290 shares in the company, valued at $1,003,610.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 28,000 shares of company stock worth $1,302,880. Company insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,573,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,374,380,000 after buying an additional 943,262 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,796,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $774,680,000 after buying an additional 336,893 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,071,409 shares of the company’s stock valued at $621,683,000 after buying an additional 77,914 shares during the period. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 4,126,373 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,509,000 after buying an additional 104,132 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 3,870,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $199,311,000 after buying an additional 120,996 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.01% of the company’s stock.

Fastenal (FAST) traded up 0.27% on Friday, hitting $48.39. The stock had a trading volume of 2,097,753 shares. The stock has a market cap of $13.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.74 and a beta of 1.00. Fastenal has a one year low of $37.96 and a one year high of $52.74. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $44.99 and its 200 day moving average is $44.21.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 11th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50. Fastenal had a return on equity of 27.28% and a net margin of 12.73%. The firm had revenue of $1.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Fastenal will post $1.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 24th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 68.09%.

Fastenal declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, July 11th that permits the company to repurchase 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Fastenal Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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