NEW YORK, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Fastenal Co. (FAST: $52) has been picked by Standard & Poor's Equity Research as its Focus Stock of the Week. FAST carries S&P's highest investment recommendation of 5-STARS, or Strong Buy. "Although prospects for the U.S. economy have recently grown more uncertain, we still expect Fastenal's business to continue its recent revival," said Michael Jaffe, Industrials Analyst at Standard & Poor's Equity Research. "We see the company being aided by the likely benefits of its decision to shift its business model in 2007 towards a smaller number of store openings per year, but with larger stores and sales staffs." Jaffe believes Fastenal is a well managed company and thinks that this new operating strategy will enable it to leverage its store expenses as the sales base increases at individual sites. He also points to the company's very healthy balance sheet, with no long-term debt as of March 31, 2010, as a positive for the company. The company is scheduled to report second quarter earnings on Tuesday, July 13. "In looking at Fastenal's longer-term prospects, we think it still has considerable room for expansion in North America, where nearly all of its stores are currently located," Mr. Jaffe said. "The company was operating 2,400 sites at May 31, 2010 and believes that North America could support at least 3,500 stores. While expansion outside of North America is still in its infant stage, we think it provides the company with a platform for substantial expansion in the future." To view a video of Mr. Jaffe discussing FAST paste the following link into your browser. http://link.delvenetworks.com/media/?mediaId=30931eab45b74858b5764fd341696a78&width=480&height=411&playerForm=DelvePlayerAbout Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services As the world's largest producer of independent equity research, Standard & Poor's licenses its research to global institutions for their investors and advisors. Standard & Poor's team of experienced U.S., European and Asian equity analysts use a fundamental, bottom-up approach to assess a global universe of multi-asset class securities across industries worldwide. Follow Standard & Poor's equity analysts' U.S. market commentary each day at http://www.equityresearch.standardandpoors.com/. The equity research reports and recommendations provided by Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services are performed separately from any other analytic activity of Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services has no access to non-public information received by other units of Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's does not trade for its own account. The analytical and ethical conduct of Standard & Poor's equity analysts is governed by the firm's Research Objectivity Policy, a copy of which may also be found at www.standardandpoors.com or by clicking here. About Standard & Poor's Standard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MHP), is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data. With offices in 23 countries and markets, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for 150 years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com. All information provided by Standard & Poor's is impersonal and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. Past performance is no indication of future results. Standard & Poor's and its affiliates provide a wide range of services to, or relating to, many organizations, including issuers of securities, investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment banks, other financial institutions and financial intermediaries, and accordingly may receive fees or other economic benefits from those organizations, including organizations whose securities or services they may recommend, rate, include in model portfolios, evaluate or otherwise address.