BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- In turbulent times, cash is king.
Companies with excess reserves can propel earnings and gain market share through mergers and acquisitions. Here are 10 companies with zero debt and ample cash. TheStreet's quantitative model, which rates stocks based on fundamentals, ranks them in the top 1% for financial strength.
10. Fastenal (FAST) sells industrial supplies.
Quarter: First-quarter profit increased 15% to $56 million, or 38 cents a share, as revenue grew 6.4% to $521 million. The operating margin inched up from 16% to 17%. Fastenal boasts a net cash position of $203 million, equal to a quick ratio of 2.9.Stock: Fastenal has increased 41% in the past year, outperforming U.S. indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 23 and a price-to-sales ratio of 3.7, 28% and 84% premiums to peer averages. It's also expensive based on book value. Consensus: Of analysts covering Fastenal, five, or 50%, advise purchasing its shares, four recommend holding and one suggests selling them. Piper Jaffray (PJC) forecasts that the stock will gain 25% to $63. Robert W. Baird expects it to hit $62.
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