Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was the target of a large growth in short interest in November. As of November 30th, there was short interest totalling 27,740,649 shares, a growth of 5.4% from the November 15th total of 26,325,937 shares. Currently, 9.7% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,974,047 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 14.1 days.

Shares of Fastenal (FAST) opened at $53.11 on Thursday. Fastenal has a fifty-two week low of $39.79 and a fifty-two week high of $55.35. The company has a current ratio of 5.36, a quick ratio of 2.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. The stock has a market cap of $15,467.35, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.63, a PEG ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 1.08.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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 net margin of 12.73% and a return on equity of 27.28%. The company had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.12 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 11.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Fastenal will post 1.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th were issued a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.41%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 24th. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is currently 68.09%.

In related news, VP Leland J. Hein sold 10,000 shares of Fastenal stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $480,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 20,258 shares in the company, valued at approximately $972,384. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Terry Modock Owen sold 30,000 shares of Fastenal stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.02, for a total transaction of $1,440,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 80,112 shares of company stock valued at $3,879,832 over the last quarter. 0.55% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 44.9% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 2,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 753 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 3rd quarter worth $114,000. Cable Hill Partners LLC bought a new stake in Fastenal in the third quarter worth $126,000. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its stake in Fastenal by 2.0% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $154,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Finally, QS Investors LLC lifted its stake in Fastenal by 1.6% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 4,051 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 63 shares during the last quarter. 84.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

FAST has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Stephens set a $54.00 price target on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $46.00 price target (up from $44.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Monday, August 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Fastenal currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $51.13.

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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.

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