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On Jan. 20, 2009,

Fastenal

(FAST) - Get Report

reported that its Q4 FY08 net income surged 11.3% year-over-year on higher sales. Net income stood at $62.54 million or $0.42 per share from $56.19 million or $0.38 per share a year ago. The latest quarterly earnings beat the consensus estimate of $0.41 per share.

The company's revenue grew 5.0% to $544.96 million from $519.21 million attributable to an increase in the number of stores. Total number of stores increased to 2,311 from 2,160 stores in the previous year's quarter. In addition, full-time equivalent headcount grew 9.2% over the year-ago quarter. The company's gross profit surged 10.1% to $291.19 million from $264.57 million, while gross profit margin increased 248 basis points to 53.43% from 50.96% in Q3 FY07, driven by the company's efforts such as freight initiative and improvements in direct sourcing operations. Finally, operating income increased 8.4% to $99.31 million from $91.62 million in the same quarter of the last year. Store count growth during the quarter was 7.5% compared to 8.1% in Q3 FY07.

During FY08, FAST's net earnings jumped 20.2% to $279.71 million or $1.88 per share from $232.62 million or $1.55 million a year ago. Net sales for the year ascended 13.5% to $2.34 billion as against $2.06 billion in FY07. The company opened 161 new stores during the year.

During the quarter under review, Fastenal paid a special one-time dividend of $0.27 per share. Recently, FAST declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per share to be paid on February 27, 2009.

Looking ahead, FAST expects to increase its sales of average store over the 5-year period from 2007 to 2012 to approximately $125,000 per month.

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