Fastenal 1Q net income rises 9 pct

Fastenal posts 9 pct increase in 1st-qtr net income helped by higher sales volumes

Associated Press

WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- Fastenal's first-quarter net income rose 9 percent as gross margins rose both year-over-year and also compared with last quarter.

The industrial and construction supply company earned $109 million, or 37 cents per share, up from $100.2 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

While revenue rose 5 percent to $806.3 million, it was short of Wall Street precitions for $815.6 million, according to FactSet, and shares slid in premarket trading.

Fastenal opened 11 new stores during the quarter, bringing its total to 2,660 as of March 31. The company also installed 4,352 new industrial vending machines, bringing that total to 25,447. Over the past year, the company's store count has risen about 2 percent, while its total of industrial vending machines has increased by two and a half times.

Also on Wednesday, Fastenal said its board raised its quarterly cash dividend to 20 cents after paying a dividend of 10 cents in the previous quarter. The company lowered the dividend to help replenish its cash reserves after making a payment of 21 cents in November and a special dividend of 50 cents in December.

The Winona, Minn., company said Wednesday that it now believes its cash reserve is at a level that will support a second quarter dividend payment more in line with amounts paid in 2012.

Fastenal Co. shares fell $1.08, or 2 percent, to $49.80 in premarket trading.

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