Fastenal: Its Long Winning Streak Continues

| About: Fastenal Company (FAST)

Here’s another edition in our continuing series of great companies that no one’s heard of. Well…in this case, many people have heard of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) but few realize how greatly this stock has performed.

Here’s the company description from Hoover’s:

Some might say it has a screw loose, but things are really pretty snug at Fastenal. The company operates more than 2,360 stores in all 50 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Asia, and Europe. Its stores stock about 690,000 products in about a dozen categories, including threaded fasteners (such as screws, nuts, and bolts). Other sales come from fluid-transfer parts for hydraulic and pneumatic power; janitorial, electrical, and welding supplies; material handling items; metal-cutting tool blades; and power tools. Its customers are typically construction, manufacturing, and other industrial professionals. Fastenal Company was founded by its chairman Bob Kierlin in 1967 and went public in 1987.

This week, FAST split its stock 2-for-1. This is the seventh split since it went public. The totals are six 2-for-1 splits and one 3-for-2 split, which adds up to 96-for-1.

Shortly after the IPO and one week after the market crash in October 1987, shares of FAST closed at $10-3/8 (yuck…I hated those fractions). Adjusted for splits, that’s 10.81 cents per share. This year, the company will earn about that much each month.

FAST closed yesterday at $32.32 per share. So in less than 24 years, the stock is up 299-fold. An initial investment of $10,000 would be worth nearly $3 million today — and that doesn’t included dividends. Annualized, that works out to 26.8% per year for nearly a quarter of a century.

Last month, Fastenal said that Q1 profits rose 42% and revenue jumped 23%. The company earned 54 cents per share, which was three cents better than estimates (those numbers aren’t adjusted for this week’s 2-for-1 split). Wall Street currently expects full-year earnings of $1.17 per share.

Here’s a look at the long-term chart. FAST has beaten the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) so badly that the index looks like a flat line in comparison.

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