Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal Company reported lower-than expected results in the third quarter of 2016, missing estimates for both earnings and sales. Fastenal’s revenues are being hurt as the sales of fasteners into heavy manufacturing, construction end markets were relatively weak. It is 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. That said, the company’s cost-saving initiative Pathway-to-Profit bode well. Meanwhile, vending trends continue to improve in 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.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Sunday, September 4th. Argus downgraded shares of Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets set a $45.00 price target on shares of Fastenal and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a report on Friday, June 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Fastenal presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.

Analyst Recommendations for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 38.34 on Friday. Fastenal has a one year low of $35.10 and a one year high of $49.99. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $41.44 and a 200 day moving average of $44.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.08 billion, a PE ratio of 21.91 and a beta of 0.99.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 11th. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. The company earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. Fastenal had a return on equity of 26.84% and a net margin of 12.61%. Fastenal’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Fastenal will post $1.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 25th will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 21st. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 69.77%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its position in Fastenal by 0.6% in the second quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 3,420 shares of the company’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Strategic Advisors LLC raised its position in Fastenal by 0.4% in the second quarter. Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 13,304 shares of the company’s stock valued at $591,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in Fastenal by 0.3% in the third quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 16,934 shares of the company’s stock valued at $708,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank raised its position in Fastenal by 2.3% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. Finally, First Allied Advisory Services Inc. raised its position in Fastenal by 0.5% in the second quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 14,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $652,000 after buying an additional 79 shares during the period. 82.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Fastenal

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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