Fastenal Company Reports 2013 First Quarter Earnings

WINONA, Minn., April 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fastenal Company of Winona, MN (Nasdaq:FAST) reported the results of the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Except for per share information, or as otherwise noted below, dollar amounts are stated in thousands.

Net sales (and the related daily sales), pre-tax earnings, net earnings, and net earnings per share were as follows for the period ended March 31:
  Three-month period
  2013 2012 Change
Net sales  $ 806,326 768,875 4.9%
Business days 63 64 -1.6%
Daily sales  $ 12,799 12,014 6.5%
Pre-tax earnings  $ 175,172 161,129 8.7%
 % of sales 21.7% 21.0%  
Net earnings  $ 109,048 100,194 8.8%
Net earnings per share (basic)  $ 0.37 0.34 8.8%

On March 31, 2013, we had 2,660 stores. During the first three months of 2013, we opened 11 new stores, an increase of 0.4% since December 2012 (we increased our store count by 1.9% since March 31, 2012). On March 31, 2013, we operated 25,447 FAST Solutions SM (industrial vending) machines. During the first three months of 2013, we installed 4,352 new machines, an increase of 20.6% since December 2012 (we increased our machine count by 159.7% since March 31, 2012). On March 31, 2013, we had 15,339 employees, an increase of 1.3% since December 2012.

Similar to previous quarters, we have included comments regarding several aspects of our business:
  1. Monthly sales changes, sequential trends, and end market performance – a recap of our recent sales trends and some insight into the activities with different end markets.
  2. Growth drivers of our business – a recap of how we grow our business.
  3. Profit drivers of our business – a recap of how we increase our profits.
  4. Statement of earnings information – a recap of the components of our income statement.
  5. Operational working capital, balance sheet, and cash flow – a recap of the operational working capital utilized in our business, and the related cash flow.

While reading these items, it is helpful to appreciate several aspects of our marketplace: (1) it's big, the North American marketplace for industrial supplies is estimated to be in excess of $160 billion per year (and we have expanded beyond North America), (2) no company has a significant portion of this market, (3) many of the products we sell are individually inexpensive, (4) when our customer needs something quickly or unexpectedly our local store is a quick source, (5) the cost to manage and procure these products can be significant, and (6) the cost to move these products, many of which are bulky, can also be significant.

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