Short Interest in Fastenal (FAST) Rises By 9.0%

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Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 26,261,976 shares, an increase of 9.0% from the January 15th total of 24,100,895 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,175,664 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.3 days. Approximately 9.3% of the company’s shares are sold short.

FAST stock traded up $1.19 during trading on Monday, hitting $61.87. The company had a trading volume of 2,410,363 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,172,409. The company has a market capitalization of $17.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.52, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.18. Fastenal has a fifty-two week low of $47.37 and a fifty-two week high of $62.12. The company has a quick ratio of 2.37, a current ratio of 5.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 17th. The company reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.60. Fastenal had a net margin of 15.14% and a return on equity of 33.48%. The business had revenue of $1.23 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.22 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.45 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Fastenal will post 2.83 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 31st will be issued a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.78%. This is an increase from Fastenal’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 30th. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 65.40%.

FAST has been the subject of several recent research reports. Longbow Research upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, November 17th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Fastenal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, December 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Fastenal in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.92.

In other news, Director Michael John Dolan sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total transaction of $300,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $900,000. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 12,500 shares of company stock worth $752,550. 0.56% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in Fastenal by 23.8% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 494,532 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,693,000 after acquiring an additional 95,225 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Fastenal by 626.9% during the third quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 23,681 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,374,000 after buying an additional 20,423 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in Fastenal by 18.5% during the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 1,049,956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,918,000 after buying an additional 164,235 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS lifted its stake in Fastenal by 14.9% during the fourth quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 53,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,823,000 after buying an additional 7,012 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Palisade Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Fastenal by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Palisade Asset Management LLC now owns 30,038 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,571,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. 86.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

See Also: Fundamental Analysis

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