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Fastenal shows gains, and reports softness

A mixed financial message from the dealer of industrial and construction supplies.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal reported fourth quarter sales of $1.28 billion, up 3.7% from $1.23 billion in the same quarter last year.

Earnings were also up in the quarter – to $178.7 million, up 5.9% compared to $168.8 million in the fourth quarter  a year ago.

But the company pointed to a general slowing in economic activity – a softness that hit the second and third quarter of 2019 and continued into the fourth. “This general softness was exacerbated in December by holiday timing and longer than usual year-end plant shutdowns,” the company reported.

For the full year, Fastenal’s net sales grew 7.4% to $5.33 billion. Net earnings increased 5.15% to $790.5 million.

The number of branch locations declined to 2,114. That’s 5.1% less than the same time last year. However the number of onsite locations and industrial vending devices both increased significantly – up 24% and 10% respectively.

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Bottom line: Annual net earnings increased 5% to $790.5 million

What the company said: “A lesser contributor to our sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 was higher product pricing as a result of increases implemented in late 2018 and throughout 2019 to mitigate the impacts of general and tariff-related inflation in the marketplace.”

More information: For the full company earnings report, click here.

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