Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports. They presently have a $38.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 6.56% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Fastenal’s third-quarter 2019 earnings and sales topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7% and 0.3%, and grew 8.8% and 7.8% year over year, respectively, given growth in the industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations that navigated sluggish business conditions. Despite slowing demand and rising product costs, gross margins improved sequentially by 30 bps. Growth in the industrial vending business and existing Onsite locations have been driving its performance over the last few quarters. Its shares gained 17.2% post the earnings release. However, daily sales growth has been declining for three straight quarters. Although Fastenal remains focused on increasing prices to help offset cost inflation due to tariffs and rising freight expenses, the business remains pressured due to ongoing trade negotiations and slower activity levels.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on FAST. Raymond James downgraded Fastenal from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Fastenal from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Fastenal from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday. Cleveland Research restated a “hold” rating on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Tuesday, September 24th. Finally, Buckingham Research increased their target price on Fastenal from $29.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $33.50.

Shares of FAST traded down $0.68 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $35.66. 7,324,830 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,287,414. The company has a market cap of $17.79 billion, a PE ratio of 27.02, a PEG ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.24. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $31.59 and its 200-day moving average is $41.89. Fastenal has a 52 week low of $24.00 and a 52 week high of $36.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a quick ratio of 2.13 and a current ratio of 4.68.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 11th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.38 billion. Fastenal had a return on equity of 32.27% and a net margin of 14.74%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.34 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Fastenal will post 1.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Fastenal news, CAO Sheryl Ann Lisowski sold 5,615 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.50, for a total value of $188,102.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 10,382 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $347,797. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael J. Ancius purchased 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 5th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $28.99 per share, with a total value of $28,990.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders acquired 4,604 shares of company stock valued at $138,479. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Fastenal by 103.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 67,317,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,193,894,000 after acquiring an additional 34,249,134 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 114.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,456,381 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,416,246,000 after buying an additional 23,182,045 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 92.3% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 31,430,053 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,024,304,000 after buying an additional 15,082,989 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 241.9% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 13,737,816 shares of the company’s stock worth $447,715,000 after buying an additional 9,719,267 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bares Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 94.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bares Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,677,098 shares of the company’s stock worth $282,787,000 after buying an additional 4,214,984 shares in the last quarter. 83.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Fastenal

Fastenal Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers fasteners, and other industrial and construction supplies under the Fastenal name. The company's fastener products include threaded fasteners, such as bolts, nuts, screws, studs, and related washers, which are used in manufactured products and construction projects, as well as in the maintenance and repair of machines.

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