Covington Capital Management raised its stake in Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) by 3.6% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 47,903 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,653 shares during the quarter. Covington Capital Management’s holdings in Fastenal were worth $2,620,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wolverine Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the fourth quarter valued at $104,000. Exane Derivatives purchased a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the fourth quarter valued at $110,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the third quarter valued at $114,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the fourth quarter valued at $115,000. Finally, Dearborn Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Fastenal in the third quarter valued at $200,000. 85.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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In other news, insider Gary A. Polipnick sold 2,634 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.45, for a total value of $140,787.30. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 59,323 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,170,814.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider William Joseph Drazkowski sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total value of $424,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 9,460 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $535,814.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 36,384 shares of company stock valued at $2,048,712 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.56% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Fastenal (NASDAQ FAST) opened at $57.37 on Thursday. Fastenal has a 1 year low of $39.79 and a 1 year high of $58.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 2.40 and a current ratio of 5.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,614.53, a PE ratio of 29.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.99.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45. Fastenal had a return on equity of 27.39% and a net margin of 13.18%. The company had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.08 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.40 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 14.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Fastenal will post 2.51 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st were given a $0.37 dividend. This is an increase from Fastenal’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 73.63%.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on FAST. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Northcoast Research set a $60.00 price target on Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $54.00.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST)

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