Fastenal (FAST) closed at $54.76 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.67% move from the prior day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's 0.92% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.77%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.65%.
Heading into today, shares of the maker of industrial and construction fasteners had gained 7.57% over the past month, outpacing the Retail-Wholesale sector's loss of 0.61% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.56% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from FAST as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 16, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $0.60, up 33.33% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $1.22 billion, up 12.16% from the prior-year quarter.
FAST's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $2.58 per share and revenue of $4.95 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +33.68% and +12.82%, respectively.
Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for FAST. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.73% higher within the past month. FAST is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that FAST has a Forward P/E ratio of 21.38 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 12.54, so we one might conclude that FAST is trading at a premium comparatively.
Also, we should mention that FAST has a PEG ratio of 1.53. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. Building Products - Retail stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.34 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Building Products - Retail industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 100, putting it in the top 39% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.
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