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Fastenal Company (FAST - Analyst Report) recently announced its monthly sales numbers for Feb 2013. The company reported 3.1% year-over-year rise in net sales of $254.9 million for Feb 2013. The company reported 8.2% increase in daily sales to $12.7 million.

As Fastenal serves customers in the manufacturing and non-residential construction markets, the company’s net sales benefited from an 8.2% increase in manufacturing customers and a 4.3% rise in non-residential construction customers. However, foreign exchange dragged daily sales growth by 0.1% during Feb 2013.  

Fastenal, which competes with The Home Depot, Inc. (HD - Analyst Report), has been witnessing some progress around its vending program, FAST Solutions, and is fast accelerating its vending contract signings and installations. Industrial vending remains one of the primary growth drivers for Fastenal. The company’s other growth drivers like government business and metalworking are also gaining traction and could help achieve profitability in 2013 and beyond.

However, Fastenal’s daily sales growth rates have been declining year over year for the past three quarters of 2012. Daily sales growth rates dropped to 2.5% in the fourth quarter from 15% growth in the first quarter 2012. The company has been witnessing declining daily sales growth rates due to weakness in its fastener product line.

A leading distributor/ retailer of industrial and construction supplies, Fastenal carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  

With the overall housing market improving steadily, there are many companies currently performing well. These include Travis Perkins plc (TVPKF) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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