Fastenal Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Fastenal is a wholesale retailer of industrial and construction supplies in North America.

Fastenal Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 29 cents per share, a rise of 7.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 28 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 29 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.21 per share, a rise of 34.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company saw profit of 33 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 33 cents per share. This comes after two consecutive quarters of exceeding expectations.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $695.6 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 21.2% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $2.76 billion for the year, a rise of 21.6% from last year’s revenue of $2.27 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Fastenal Company with six of nine analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 29.1% to $96.8 million (33 cents a share) from $75 million (26 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 20.4% to $726.7 million from $603.8 million.

Key Stats:.

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 21.6%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter when revenue rose 23% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 36.1% in the second quarter and 42% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Interline Brands, Inc. (NYSE:IBI), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Lawson Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAWS), W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON).

Stock Price Performance: During October 17, 2011 to January 12, 2012, the stock price had risen $12.61 (37.9%) from $33.25 to $45.86. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 20, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 13.4% (+$4.30) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between October 10, 2011 and October 17, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 4.1% (-$1.41) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks).

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