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

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 lower today making it today's featured Materials & Construction laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Fastenal Company fell $1.30 (-2.5%) to $50.89 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Fastenal Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $50.83-$52.15 after having opened the day at $52.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.19. Other companies within the Materials & Construction industry that declined today were: Patrick Industries ( PATK), down 16.7%, Gafisa ( GFA), down 8%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 7.2%, and Trex Company ( TREX), down 4.9%.
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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 $15.78 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 positive front, PGT ( PGTI), up 14.7%, Perma-Fix Environmental Services ( PESI), up 6%, Goldfield ( GV), up 5.5%, and Comstock ( CHCI), up 3.5%, were all gainers within the materials & construction industry with Quanta Services ( PWR) being today's featured materials & construction industry leader.

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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