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Fastenal disappointed by growth

The Winona, Minn.-based building products company saw net earnings hold steady.

Industrial products supplier Fastenal reported fourth-quarter net sales of $813.8 million, up 7.5% from $757.2 million in the same quarter last year. But the company didn't grow as fast as it anticipated.

The Winona, Minn.-based company reported net earnings of $99.2 million, up 0.5% from the previous year's quarter.

The results -- including flat net earnings per share -- disappointed Wall Street. Shares of FAST were down sharply early Wednesday. Executives pointed to weaker than expected sales and gross margin trends. "This weakening was worse than we expected and this created additional drain on our ability to grow earnings," the company said in its earnings release.

For the full year, net sales increased 6.1% to $3.33 billion. Net earnings for the 12-month period increased 6.7% to $448.6 million.

At the end of the year, Fastenal operated 2,687 store locations. 


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