Short Interest in Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) Rises By 118.4%

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 42,490,000 shares, an increase of 118.4% from the April 30th total of 19,457,800 shares. Currently, 15.0% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,270,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 10.0 days.

Shares of FAST traded down $0.24 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $31.41. 70,954 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,978,819. Fastenal has a 52 week low of $23.68 and a 52 week high of $35.94. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $50.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 1.97 and a current ratio of 4.31.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 11th. The company reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. Fastenal had a net margin of 15.16% and a return on equity of 33.52%. The company had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.30 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.31 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Fastenal will post 1.42 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 22nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 24th were issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 23rd. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.48%. Fastenal’s dividend payout ratio is presently 65.15%.

In other news, insider Leland J. Hein sold 19,929 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.37, for a total transaction of $1,402,403.73. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 14,931 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,050,694.47. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CAO Sheryl Ann Lisowski sold 9,166 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.22, for a total transaction of $588,640.52. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 9,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $607,906.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 163,470 shares of company stock valued at $11,485,007. Company insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in shares of Fastenal by 11.8% during the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,776,845 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,271,000 after acquiring an additional 187,103 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in shares of Fastenal by 45.0% during the 1st quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 25,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,622,000 after acquiring an additional 7,827 shares in the last quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 1st quarter worth approximately $239,000. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Fastenal by 654.5% during the 1st quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 1,660 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 1,440 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Andra AP fonden acquired a new stake in shares of Fastenal during the 1st quarter worth approximately $6,367,000. 85.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on FAST shares. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Fastenal from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. ValuEngine cut shares of Fastenal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. William Blair cut shares of Fastenal from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Fastenal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Buckingham Research set a $31.00 target price on shares of Fastenal and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.70.

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Fastenal Company Profile

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.

Further Reading: Sell-Side Analysts

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