Posted October 11, 2016

Fastenal sales inch higher

Fastenal Company reported net sales of $1.01 billion for the third quarter, a 1.8 percent increase from $995.2 million in the same period last year.

Net earnings of $126.9 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $134.5 million, or 47 cents, the third quarter of 2015.

Sales for the first nine months of the year were $3.01 billion, a 2.3 percent gain from $2.94 billion in the same period last year. Net earnings for the nine-month period were $384.7 million, or $1.33 per share, compared to $404.5 million, or $1.38, in the same period in 2015.

The Winona, Minnesota-based distributor said it reduced headcount by 430 people in store locations and 115 people in total. "We continue to add headcount where necessary to support our growth initiatives, notably our Onsite business (defined as dedicated sales and service provided from within the customer's facility). However, the continued softness of the North American industrial economy has caused us to more intensively scrutinize our full- and part-time staffing levels outside of these initiatives. Indeed, after increasing our total headcount every quarter during 2015, it has declined during every quarter of 2016," the company said in a statement announcing its quarterly results.

Fastenal opened 35 and 13 stores in the first nine months of 2016 and 2015, respectively, and expects to open approximately 40 stores in total in 2016, which is an annual rate of approximately 2%. Ninety-nine stores were closed or consolidated in the first nine months of 2016; about 90% of these stores were in close proximity to another Fastenal store, and about 85% had leases expiring within 18 months.

September sales results
Fastenal also reported that sales for September totaled $338.3 million, a 2.8 percent increase from $329.2 million in September 2015. Daily sales of $15.9 million compared to daily sales of $15.8 million in September 2015.