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Fastenal Company (FAST): Today's Featured Materials & Construction Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Fastenal Company ( FAST) pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today making it today's featured materials & construction winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Fastenal Company rose 87 cents (1.8%) to $50.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.4 million shares of Fastenal Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.88-$50.90 after having opened the day at $50.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.82. Other companies within the Materials & Construction industry that increased today were: McDermott International ( MDR), up 8.6%, Goldfield ( GV), up 7.9%, China Advanced Construction Materials Group ( CADC), up 6%, and Heckmann ( HEK), up 5.1%.

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Fastenal Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a wholesaler and retailer of industrial and construction supplies in the United States and internationally. Fastenal Company has a market cap of $14.82 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are three analysts that rate Fastenal Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fastenal Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the negative front, India Globalization Capital ( IGC), down 7.5%, Cementos Pacasmayo SAA ADR ( CPAC), down 2.3%, Republic Services ( RSG), down 2.3%, and Comstock ( CHCI), down 2.2%, were all laggards within the materials & construction industry with Fluor Corporation ( FLR) being today's materials & construction industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the materials & construction industry could consider SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) while those bearish on the materials & construction industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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