Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fastenal have gained 28.7% in the past year, comparing favorably with industry growth of 12.2%. Estimates for 2018 have moved north over the last 60 days, signaling analysts’ optimism. Fastenal’s aggressive investment to increase Onsite locations, vending machines count and ecommerce business is expected to boost sales. Industrial vending is one of the primary growth drivers for Fastenal and has the potential to significantly increase sales and profits. For 2018, the company is targeting signings in the range of 21,000 to 23,000. After a soft 2013, vending trends improved as management’s efforts to enhance the quality of signings/installs paid off. The company’s cost-saving initiative, Pathway-to-Profit, also bodes well. Meanwhile, changes in product and customer mix will continue to hurt margins in 2018.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also commented on FAST. Stephens boosted their price objective on shares of Fastenal from $54.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Fastenal to a buy rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a hold rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a report on Monday, December 11th. Goldman Sachs assumed coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Sunday, March 18th. They issued a sell rating and a $49.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $53.67.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at $55.68 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 5.51, a quick ratio of 2.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. The firm has a market cap of $16,344.14, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.54, a P/E/G ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.99. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $39.79 and a 1-year high of $58.74.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45. The business had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.08 billion. Fastenal had a net margin of 13.18% and a return on equity of 27.39%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.40 EPS. research analysts forecast that Fastenal will post 2.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st were paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 30th. This is a positive change from Fastenal’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is 73.63%.

In other news, insider Charles S. Miller sold 26,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.50, for a total value of $1,483,125.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 26,250 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,483,125. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider William Joseph Drazkowski sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total transaction of $424,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 9,460 shares in the company, valued at approximately $535,814.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.56% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Wolverine Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 4th quarter valued at about $104,000. Exane Derivatives bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 4th quarter valued at about $110,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 3rd quarter valued at about $114,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 4th quarter valued at about $115,000. Finally, Dearborn Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 3rd quarter valued at about $200,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.92% of the company’s stock.

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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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Analyst Recommendations for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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