Fastenal reports growth in 2016
Fastenal Company reported fourth quarter net sales of $ 947.9 million, a 2.7 percent improvement from $922.8 million in the same period last year.
For the year, sales improved by 2.4 percent to $3.96 billion, compared to $3.86 billion in 2015.
Fourth quarter net earnings of $114.8 million, or 40 cents per share, were 2.6 percent higher than earnings of $111.9 million, or 39 cents, in last year's fourth quarter.
For the full year, earnings declined 3.3 percent to $499.5 million, or $1.73 per share, from $516.4 million, or $1.77, in the previous year.
During the last 12 months, the Winona, Minnesota-based distributor reduced headcount by 995 people in its stores and 1,122 people in total. These reductions can be primarily attributed to natural attrition rather than an active headcount reduction program, the company said.
The company closed or consolidated 144 stores in 2016. About 90% of these stores were in close proximity to another Fastenal store, and about 85% had leases expiring within 18 months.
"For most of the year, we saw relative weakness from non-residential construction and heavy manufacturing customers and in demand for our fastener products, speaking to the sustained softness in heavy and general industrial markets," the company said. "Business with our largest customers was also relatively weak, with sales to our top 100 customers rising modestly in the first half of 2016 and falling modestly in the second half of 2016. While these weaknesses were representative of conditions in the United States and Canada, total sales outside of these geographic areas were relatively strong and improved over the course of 2016."