Fastenal 3Q profit rises 29 pct

WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- Fastenal Co., which makes nuts, bolts and other fasteners, said Thursday its third-quarter profit jumped 29 percent on a steep increase in sales.The Winona, Minn. company earned $96.8 million, or 33 cents per share, up from $75 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Sales rose 20 percent to $726.7 million from $603.8 million.The year-ago results are adjusted to account for a 2-for-1 stock split on May 20.Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 33 cents per share on $721.6 million in sales, according to a FactSet poll.The company posted sales growth of at least 19 percent during each month of the quarter. It opened 94 new stores during the first nine months of this year, for a total of 2,584 stores at the end of the quarter.