WINONA, Minn., Jan. 18, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fastenal Company of Winona, MN (Nasdaq:FAST) reported the results of the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. Except for per share information, or as otherwise noted below, dollar amounts are in thousands.

Net sales, pre-tax earnings, net earnings, and earnings per share were as follows for the periods ended December 31:
  Twelve-month Period  Three-month Period
  2010 2009 Change 2010 2009 Change
             
Net sales $2,269,471 1,930,330 17.6% $573,766 476,750 20.3%
             
Pre-tax earnings $430,640 297,490 44.8% $107,144 71,419 50.0%
             
Net earnings $265,356 184,357 43.9% $65,161 44,536 46.3%
             
Basic and diluted earnings per share $1.80 1.24 45.2% $0.44 0.30 46.7%
             

During 2010, we opened 127 new stores (we opened 69 new stores in the same period of 2009). The 127 new stores represent an increase of 5.4% since December 31, 2009. (We had 2,369 stores on December 31, 2009.) Since June 30, 2010, we opened 82 stores (or an annualized run rate of 6.9%). There were 13,285 total employees as of December 31, 2010, an increase of 10.3% from the 12,045 total employees on December 31, 2009.