Why Fastenal Is Friday's Big Earnings Winner

When Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday, the industrial supplier said that it had $0.37 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.38 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $0.35 in EPS and revenue of $1.37 billion, and the same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.34 on $1.28 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, net sales increased 7.8% year over year. This increase was driven by higher unit sales related primarily to growth drivers, most notably contribution from industrial vending and Onsite locations.

The general slowing in economic activity that Fastenal experienced in the second quarter of 2019 continued in the third quarter. A lesser contributor to the sales growth in the quarter was higher product pricing as a result of increases implemented in late 2018 and throughout 2019 to mitigate the impacts of general and tariff-related inflation in the marketplace. Sales of fastener products grew 3.0% on a daily basis over the third quarter of 2018 and represented 33.7% of sales in the third quarter. Sales of non-fastener products grew 8.0% on a daily basis over the third quarter of 2018 and represented 66.3% of sales in the third quarter of 2019.

Fastenal signed 16,713 industrial vending devices during the first nine months of 2019 and 5,671 devices during the third quarter of 2019. The installed device count at the end of the quarter was 88,327, an increase of 12.2% year over year. Daily sales through these vending devices grew at a mid-teens pace in the third quarter due to the increase in the installed base.

Fastenal further detailed in the report:

We believe slower economic activity has lengthened the sales cycle for vending. As a result, we currently expect to sign approximately 22,000 vending devices in 2019, slightly below our previous goal of 23,000 to 25,000 units.

Shares of Fastenal traded up 16% to $36.08 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $24.00 to $36.50. The consensus price target is $33.25.

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