News articles about Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) have been trending somewhat positive on Thursday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies negative and positive news coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Fastenal earned a news sentiment score of 0.21 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news stories about the company an impact score of 46.5694306392383 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

Several analysts have issued reports on FAST shares. Longbow Research raised Fastenal from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group raised Fastenal from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $55.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. 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. 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. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised Fastenal from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $50.14.

Shares of Fastenal (FAST) traded down 1.72% during trading on Thursday, hitting $42.36. The stock had a trading volume of 1,943,738 shares. Fastenal has a 12-month low of $37.70 and a 12-month high of $52.74. The firm has a market cap of $12.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.31 and a beta of 0.98. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $43.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $46.59.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 12th. The company reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.46 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Fastenal will post $1.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Fastenal announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 11th that allows the company to buyback 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 26th will be given a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 24th. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 70.33%.

In other Fastenal news, insider William Joseph Drazkowski bought 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 21st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $42.36 per share, for a total transaction of $42,360.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,960 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $83,025.60. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Daniel L. Johnson bought 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $42.71 per share, for a total transaction of $25,626.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 3,600 shares of company stock worth $154,256 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.55% 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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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