Fastenal 2Q Tops Street on Strong Comparable Sales

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) reported Tuesday a stronger-than-expected 36% improvement in second-quarter profit as sales at its more established stores continued to climb.

The Winona, Minn.-based industrial and construction equipment supplier booked net earnings of $94.1 million, or 32 cents as share, compared with $69.17 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The results topped average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of just 30 cents a share.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 was $701.7 million, up 22.9% from $571.18 million a year ago, beating the Streets view of $688.6 million.

The company experienced sales growth every month during the period, fueled by strong demand at stores open at least two years, though February revenues were partially offset by bad weather.

During 2010, and year-to-date in 2011, sales were strong -- our business has closely followed the trend line since the fall of 2009, Fastenal said in a statement.

The company said it remains focused on its pathway to profit initiative, but plans to hit $125,000 a month store average and grow its pre-tax earnings to 23% of net sales 24 to 30 months later than its original 2012 deadline because of lingering economic weaknesses.

Fastenal opened 75 new stores in the first half of the year as part of its goal to open 150 to 200 this year.