Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal has gradually grown from a fastener distributor to a full-line industrial supplier. Notably, the company’s cost-saving initiative Pathway-to-Profit bode well. Meanwhile, vending trends improved in 2015 and first half of 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. However, Fastenal’s revenues are being hurt by price deflation of fastener products, currency headwinds and lack of new products and services. The top line has been adversely impacted by lower sales to manufacturing and construction customers 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.”

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on FAST. Vetr cut shares of Fastenal from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating and set a $42.46 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $43.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a report on Friday, June 17th. Macquarie started coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a neutral rating and a $50.00 target price on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Fastenal currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $47.44.

Shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 40.07 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $42.85 and a 200 day moving average of $45.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.90 and a beta of 0.90. Fastenal has a 12-month low of $34.45 and a 12-month high of $49.99.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.03. The firm earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. Fastenal had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 27.83%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.48 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Fastenal will post $1.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 26th were given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 22nd. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.99%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 68.57%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FAST. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC purchased a new position in Fastenal during the second quarter worth $513,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Fastenal during the second quarter worth $518,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Fastenal during the second quarter worth $1,090,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Fastenal during the second quarter worth $1,727,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its position in Fastenal by 17.3% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 12,668 shares of the company’s stock worth $561,000 after buying an additional 1,867 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.32% of the company’s stock.

Fastenal Company Profile

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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