Stearns Financial Services Group reduced its position in shares of Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) by 11.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 8,807 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,160 shares during the period. Stearns Financial Services Group’s holdings in Fastenal were worth $383,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in FAST. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 3.0% in the second quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 3,025 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in shares of Fastenal during the first quarter worth approximately $133,000. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 13.4% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 3,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 433 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Fastenal by 417.7% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 3,277 shares of the company’s stock worth $169,000 after buying an additional 2,644 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in shares of Fastenal during the first quarter worth approximately $191,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.54% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Fastenal Company (FAST) opened at 43.10 on Thursday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $43.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $46.62. The firm has a market cap of $12.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.72 and a beta of 0.98. Fastenal Company has a 1-year low of $37.70 and a 1-year high of $52.74.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. Fastenal had a net margin of 12.71% and a return on equity of 26.86%. The firm had revenue of $1.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.11 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.46 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Fastenal Company will post $1.92 EPS for the current year.

Fastenal announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 11th that allows the company to repurchase 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 26th will be issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, July 24th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 70.33%.

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A number of research analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub lowered Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $46.00 price target (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Monday, June 12th. UBS AG raised Fastenal from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $52.00 price target on Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Fastenal currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.14.

In other Fastenal news, Director Daniel L. Johnson bought 600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The shares were bought at an average price of $42.71 per share, for a total transaction of $25,626.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Holden Lewis bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 17th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $42.51 per share, for a total transaction of $42,510.00. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now directly owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $85,020. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 3,600 shares of company stock worth $154,256 in the last 90 days. 0.55% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Fastenal

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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