Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, July 12th, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $53.00 price objective on the stock. Robert W. Baird’s target price points to a potential upside of 20.84% from the stock’s current price.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on FAST. UBS AG upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Fastenal in a report on Monday, June 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co began coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Friday, June 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $47.00 price objective (down previously from $51.00) on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $50.14.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) opened at 43.86 on Wednesday. Fastenal has a 52 week low of $37.70 and a 52 week high of $52.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.14 and a beta of 0.98. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $43.28 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.88.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $1.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.11 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.46 EPS. Fastenal’s quarterly revenue was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Fastenal will post $1.92 EPS for the current year.

Fastenal declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 11th that permits the company to repurchase 5,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, insider William Joseph Drazkowski bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $42.36 per share, with a total value of $42,360.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 1,960 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $83,025.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Daniel L. Johnson bought 600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $42.71 per share, for a total transaction of $25,626.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought 3,600 shares of company stock valued at $154,256 over the last 90 days. 0.55% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Fastenal by 4.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,629,887 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,577,439,000 after buying an additional 1,345,542 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Fastenal by 3,168.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,459,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $899,168,000 after buying an additional 16,925,319 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in Fastenal by 0.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,071,409 shares of the company’s stock valued at $621,683,000 after buying an additional 77,914 shares during the period. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. increased its position in Fastenal by 2.6% in the first quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 4,126,373 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,509,000 after buying an additional 104,132 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Fastenal by 3.2% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 3,870,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $199,311,000 after buying an additional 120,996 shares during the period. 82.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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