Short Interest in Fastenal Company (FAST) Expands By 9.2%

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 27,872,426 shares, an increase of 9.2% from the August 15th total of 25,515,615 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,817,946 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 9.9 days. Approximately 9.7% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down from $50.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Monday, June 12th. Credit Suisse Group set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Longbow Research upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.33.

Fastenal (NASDAQ FAST) opened at 43.93 on Friday. Fastenal has a 1-year low of $37.70 and a 1-year high of $52.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.65 billion, a PE ratio of 24.18 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a 50 day moving average of $42.45 and a 200 day moving average of $45.16.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by $0.02. Fastenal had a net margin of 12.71% and a return on equity of 26.86%. The firm had revenue of $1.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.46 EPS. Fastenal’s quarterly revenue was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Fastenal will post $1.93 EPS for the current year.

Fastenal declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 11th that permits the company to repurchase 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 26th were given a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, July 24th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.91%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 70.33%.

In related news, CFO Holden Lewis bought 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The shares were bought at an average price of $42.51 per share, with a total value of $42,510.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $85,020. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Stephen L. Eastman bought 800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $40.58 per share, for a total transaction of $32,464.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have acquired 3,400 shares of company stock worth $142,960. 0.55% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of FAST. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its position in Fastenal by 44.9% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 2,429 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 753 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its position in Fastenal by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 3,025 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in Fastenal in the 1st quarter valued at $133,000. Krilogy Financial LLC grew its position in Fastenal by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CENTRAL TRUST Co grew its position in Fastenal by 13.4% in the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 3,665 shares of the company’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 433 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.98% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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