said first-quarter earnings rose but were still a penny short of analysts' estimates. Results were driven by new store openings, the company said.
Fastenal earned $19.04 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $17.71 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 26 cents a share.
Revenue was $235.8 million, compared with $214.6 million in the comparable quarter.
During the quarter, the company opened 36 new stores. In 2003, the company said it plans to open 150 to 185 new stores.
Shares of the Winona, Minn.-based nuts and bolts distributor were recently up 10 cents to $32.85.