(By Balachander) Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST), which sells industrial and construction supplies, reported an increase in quarterly earnings, helped by growth in sales and improvement in margins.
Earnings per share increased 10 percent to 37 cents, matching market expectations for the fourth quarter. Net earnings grew 13 percent to $98.72 million.
Net sales rose 8.5 percent to $757.2 million, in line with Wall Street view.
Gross profit margin improved to 51.6 percent from 51.2 percent a year ago.
In the third quarter, Fastenal earned 37 cents a share on sales of $803 million.
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The Winona, Minnesota-based company provides fastener product line, including threaded fasteners such as bolts, nuts, screws, studs, and related washers that are used in manufactured products and building projects.
As of Dec. 31, the company operated 2,652 stores.
The stock, which has been trading between $37.61 to $55.05 over the past year, closed Wednesday's regular trading at $47.00.