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Fastenal Still Slumping on Weak Demand

Fastenal (FAST), a distributor of construction and building supplies, missed Wall Street earnings expectations for the second straight quarter, sending its share price down 6% Monday morning.

The company, obviously hurt by the recession, blamed the poor results in particular on a continued falloff in its business with manufacturing companies.

Fastenal, as its name might indicate, is a wholesaler and retailer specializing in fasteners (screws, nuts, bolts, clips, etc.) for all kinds of uses. Historically, however, half of its sales have come from manufacturing and industrial customers. That business shrank 28% compared with the year-ago second quarter.

Overall, the company said second-quarter earnings dropped nearly 43% to $43.5 million, or 29 cents a share, from the year-ago period, below analysts' estimates of 33 cents.

Second-quarter sales, meanwhile, fell 21% to $474.9 million.

Investors were not impressed. In morning trading, Fastenal stock was changing hands at $29.81, down $1.92, on a volume of 1.2 million shares. Its average daily turnover is 1.9 million. The shares reached their all-time high, 56.48, in September last year.

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