Fastenal (FAST) Up 22.4% Over a Year: Will it Gain Further?
Fastenal (FAST) is likely to benefit from solid industry trends, strong industrial vending business and onsite locations.
With the opening of the economy, demand for industrial and construction supplies has been improving. Fastenal Company FAST is such a building materials company that has been riding on positive industry trends.
The company’s shares have gained 22.4% in the past year compared with the Zacks Building Products - Retail industry’s 19.7% growth. Both Fastenal and the industry have broadly outperformed the Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector in the same period.
The uptick can primarily be attributable to its prime focus on boosting e-commerce and full-line industrial suppliers. Also, it has been benefiting from strong industrial vending business, Onsite locations and cost-saving efforts. This apart, the company is well positioned in terms of liquidity to overcome any unforeseen situation in the near term. Yet, inflationary pressures and supply chain-related issues are concerns for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Let’s see how these strategic initiatives are helping the company mitigate top-line risks.
Focus on Strategies: Fastenal has been emphasizing on virtual platforms to boost customers’ engagement. The company has slashed hundreds of branches since 2013 in favor of vending machines and online sales, in response to changes in customer dynamics. During the first and second quarters of 2021, daily sales through e-commerce increased 35.5% and 53.3%, respectively, year over year. In fact, revenues attributable to e-commerce represented 12.2% and 41.7% of total revenues, respectively. The growth is likely to continue in second-half 2021, given changing customer dynamics.
Fastenal has gradually expanded from a fastener distributor to a full-line industrial supplier. It has expanded its product lines to include an internal manufacturing division, government sales, Internet sales, metalworking and industrial vending. Fastenal has also built a national accounts team, which is dedicated to servicing corporate customers. These initiatives are gaining traction and will help it achieve future profitability.
Cost-Reduction Efforts: Fastenal, which shares space with Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. BECN, Builders FirstSource, Inc. BLDR and Tecnoglass Inc. TGLS in the same industry, intends to reduce costs arising from tariffs and freight expenses. It has undertaken various cost-control measures like automating warehouses, increasing delivery efficiency through the trucking network and selling more private-label products with higher margins. In second-quarter 2021, the company witnessed a sharp increase in the mix of fastener sales and significant drop in non-fastener sales, which resulted in higher gross margins (up 200 basis points year over year). Higher gross margin for the period was driven by product mix, overhead/organizational leverage and improved safety product margin on a shift in customer mix.
Solid Industrial Vending Business & Onsite Locations: Amid the current market situation, wherein people are indulging in less human contact to avoid the virus, Fastenal’s Industrial vending business is a boon for the company. These machines help customers in controlling inventory and administrative costs, while reducing product consumption. The non-fastener product line has benefited significantly from its initiatives pertaining to industrial vending.
At the start of 2021, Fastenal disclosed a weighted FMI or Fastenal Managed Inventory measure that combines the signings, installations, and sales of FAST Vend and FAST Bin into a standardized machine equivalent unit based on the expected output of each type of device. In first-quarter 2021, the company signed 4,683 weighted FMI devices, almost in line with 4,692 in the prior-year period.
Its Onsite locations — in which a mini-Fastenal shop is located in a customer’s plant — are helping it serve customers better. As of Jun 30, 2021, the company had 1,323 active sites, up 9.2% from the comparable year-ago period. Second-quarter 2021 daily sales through Onsite locations (excluding sales transferred from branches to new Onsites) increased more than 25% from a year ago. The increased number of onsite locations is likely to expand Fastenal’s market share.
Prospects Look Good: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings and revenues is pegged at $1.55 per share and $5.89 billion, indicating 4% and 4.4% year-over-year growth, respectively.
Earnings are likely to rise 9% in the next three to five years. The uptrend is supported by a solid Growth Score of B and robust earnings surprise history, having surpassed analysts’ expectation in five of the trailing six quarters.
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market.
Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Fastenal Company (FAST): Free Stock Analysis Report
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (BECN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Builders FirstSource, Inc. (BLDR): Free Stock Analysis Report
Tecnoglass Inc. (TGLS): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research