Fastenal Co states good profit due to new model

Fastenal Co reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped in part by an increase in daily sales growth and its new freight initiatives.

Fastenal sells industrial and construction supplies, the main inventory being fasteners such as screws, nuts and bolts. The company also distributes 11 other product lines ranging from safety and janitorial supplies to welding equipment and tools.

The company posted first-quarter profit of $68.1 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with $54.1 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose about 16 percent to $566.2 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $561.6 million.

The new freight model uses the company's own trucking network, enabling it to leverage its existing routes compared to external providers.

Daily sales, defined as sales for the month divided by the number of business days in the month, improved in March, relative to January and February, the Winona, Minnesota-based company said in a statement.

The company said average vehicle fuel cost per month rose about 38 percent to $2.9 million in the latest first quarter.

It added that the impact on margins from rising fuel costs could be more if the trend continues.

Shares of the company rose almost 4 percent in trading before the bell, after closing at $47.75 Thursday on Nasdaq.