Maintenance and repair product distributor Fastenal (FAST) is having a strong year despite the bearish pressure that's squeezed the broad market in 2011. Year-to-date, shares have climbed 12.5% -- Fastenal's dividend payout notwithstanding. That dividend is on the rise right now; management increased their payout to shareholders by 7.69% this week, ratcheting its quarterly dividend up to 13 cents per share.
Fastenal's core business comes in providing a massive catalog of maintenance, repair, and construction products to companies worldwide. At its core is the firm's namesake fastener business, which currently boasts more than 400,000 products; fittingly, fasteners make up more than half of the firm's sales. Competition is high for firms' maintenance and repair dollars, and Fastenal's geographic footprint is its biggest weapon to combat customer attrition. With more than 2,400 physical locations, Fastenal is best able to quickly fulfill orders and keep customers loyal.With no debt on its balance sheet and more than $115 in cash and investments on hand, Fastenal's financial health is excellent. The firm's recent dividend hike equates to a 1.54% yield at current levels. Fastenal, one of TheStreet Ratings' top-rated supplier and distributor stocks, was also featured recently in "5 Stocks Set to Soar off Bullish Earnings."
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