Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) Stock Rating Upgraded by Robert W. Baird

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) was upgraded by equities researchers at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, July 12th, MarketBeat reports. The firm presently has a $53.00 price objective on the stock. Robert W. Baird’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 24.38% from the company’s current price.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on FAST. Zacks Investment Research raised Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a report on Thursday, April 13th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Argus raised Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Fastenal from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.14.

Fastenal (NASDAQ FAST) opened at 42.61 on Wednesday. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $37.70 and a 1-year high of $52.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.27 billion, a PE ratio of 23.45 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50 day moving average of $43.14 and a 200 day moving average of $46.53.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.02. Fastenal had a return on equity of 26.86% and a net margin of 12.71%. The firm had revenue of $1.12 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Fastenal will post $1.92 EPS for the current year.

Fastenal declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, July 11th that permits the company to buyback 5,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, Director Daniel L. Johnson purchased 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $42.71 per share, with a total value of $25,626.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Holden Lewis purchased 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 17th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $42.51 per share, with a total value of $42,510.00. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now directly owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $85,020. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 3,600 shares of company stock valued at $154,256 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FAST. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Fastenal by 3,168.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,459,557 shares of the company’s stock worth $899,168,000 after buying an additional 16,925,319 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Fastenal by 150.9% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,875,059 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,066,000 after buying an additional 1,729,206 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Fastenal by 4.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,629,887 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,577,439,000 after buying an additional 1,345,542 shares in the last quarter. Montag & Caldwell LLC bought a new stake in Fastenal during the first quarter worth approximately $56,405,000. Finally, Strs Ohio boosted its stake in Fastenal by 177.3% in the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,298,496 shares of the company’s stock worth $66,872,000 after buying an additional 830,181 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.54% of the company’s stock.

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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