Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 21,323,595 shares, a decrease of 7.8% from the September 15th total of 23,128,050 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,061,335 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 10.3 days. Approximately 7.4% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 38.34 on Friday. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $41.44 and its 200-day moving average price is $44.06. The company has a market capitalization of $11.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.91 and a beta of 0.99. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $35.10 and a 1-year high of $49.99.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 11th. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. Fastenal had a return on equity of 26.84% and a net margin of 12.61%. The firm earned $1.01 billion during the quarter. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.47 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Fastenal will post $1.74 EPS for the current year.

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

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cantab Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the second quarter worth $119,000. American Research & Management Co. boosted its stake in shares of Fastenal by 191.5% in the second quarter. American Research & Management Co. now owns 2,740 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in shares of Fastenal by 2.3% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,762 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in shares of Fastenal by 32.0% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,131 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 759 shares during the period. Finally, FineMark National Bank & Trust boosted its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.12% of the company’s stock.

FAST has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fastenal from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, July 7th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Macquarie initiated coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Fastenal in a report on Sunday, September 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.

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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