Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) by 5.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,494,090 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 121,909 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.87% of Fastenal worth $108,567,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Fastenal by 77.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 18,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $874,000 after buying an additional 8,100 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD increased its stake in Fastenal by 13.9% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 24,480 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,260,000 after buying an additional 2,984 shares in the last quarter. Greenleaf Trust acquired a new stake in Fastenal during the first quarter valued at approximately $838,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Fastenal by 20.7% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,722,323 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,699,000 after buying an additional 294,947 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its stake in Fastenal by 25.0% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 266,033 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,701,000 after buying an additional 53,200 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.98% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Fastenal Company (FAST) opened at 42.48 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $12.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.38 and a beta of 0.99. Fastenal Company has a 12-month low of $37.70 and a 12-month high of $52.74. The company’s 50 day moving average is $42.53 and its 200 day moving average is $45.65.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its earnings results 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 business had revenue of $1.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.46 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Fastenal Company will post $1.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 26th were paid a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 24th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.01%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 70.33%.

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Several analysts have commented on FAST shares. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 target price (up from $45.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Friday, July 14th. BidaskClub raised shares of Fastenal from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co started coverage on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Fastenal currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $49.84.

In related news, Director Michael John Dolan sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.01, for a total value of $344,080.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Daniel L. Johnson bought 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $42.71 per share, with a total value of $25,626.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 3,400 shares of company stock valued at $142,960 over the last three months. 0.55% of the stock is 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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