Fastenal Profit Rises 13%, Matches Forecasts

Despite double-digit gains, it fell short of revenue estimates

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) announced on Thursday that it earned $109.3 million during the third quarter, up 13% from $96.8 million in the same period last year. EPS came in at 37 cents, which matched Wall Street estimates, Knight Ridder noted.

The hardware supply chain recorded quarterly revenue of $802.6 million, up 10.4% from last year, but falling short of the $805 million that analysts had anticipated,

A Must-Sell and Must-Buy in Industrial Goods
A Must-Sell and Must-Buy in Industrial Goods

Company officials noted that the chain’s workforce had grown 1.7% over the second quarter to 15,341. Gross margins declined slightly from 51.9%, to 51.6%.

The chain reported a small increase in sales during September, including a rise in construction related sales, but continued to experience sluggish growth in Europe and Asia, which dented overall earnings.

Profits from the company’s industrial vending machines, which provide on-site supplies of tools, grew 30% over last year, though profits from the machines were mixed, depending on the tools supplied. The company has 17,013 vending machines deployed at customer facilities, with more than half of those introduced this year.

The chain also plans to add 85 new stores this year, a slower rate of store openings than in prior years.

Shares of Fastenal slipped fractionally in Friday morning trading after rising more than 8% on Thursday.

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