Fastenal Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Thursday, January 17, 2013. Fastenal is a wholesale retailer of industrial and construction supplies in North America.

Fastenal Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 33 cents per share, a rise of 10% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 34 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 33 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $1.42 per share, a rise of 17.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company met expectations by reporting net income of 37 cents per share last quarter. In the previous second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 12.9% to $109.3 million (37 cents a share) from $96.8 million (33 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 10.4% to $802.6 million from $726.7 million.

Here’s how Fastenal traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

FAST

Stock Price Performance: Between November 13, 2012 and January 11, 2013, the stock price had risen $5.11 (12.3%), from $41.39 to $46.50. It saw one of its worst periods between November 1, 2012 and November 8, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 6.8% (-$3.07) over that span. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between May 18, 2012 and May 29, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 8.5% (+$3.57) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $759.5 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 8.8% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $3.14 billion for the year, a rise of 13.4% from last year’s revenue of $2.77 billion.

Key Stats:

With double-digit revenue growth the past four quarters, this earnings release is a chance to keep that positive trend going. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 16.7% over the last four quarters.

This upcoming earnings announcement will be a chance to build on positive earnings momentum over the last three quarters. Net income rose 26% in the first quarter and 19.3% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with six of 10 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 6.59 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands. The company improved this liquidity measure from 6.55 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in current assets. Current assets increased 3.3% to $1.42 billion while liabilities rose by 2.6% to $216 million.

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