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Press release from PR Newswire

S&P Equity Research Picks Fastenal Co. Focus Stock of the Week

Monday, July 12, 2010

S&P Equity Research Picks Fastenal Co. Focus Stock of the Week15:10 EDT Monday, July 12, 2010NEW YORK, July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Fastenal Co. (FAST: $52) has been picked by Standard & Poor's Equity Research as its Focus Stock of the Week. �FAST carries S&P's highest investment recommendation of 5-STARS, or Strong Buy. "Although prospects for the U.S. economy have recently grown more uncertain, we still expect Fastenal's business to continue its recent revival," said Michael Jaffe, Industrials Analyst at Standard & Poor's Equity Research. �"We see the company being aided by the likely benefits of its decision to shift its business model in 2007 towards a smaller number of store openings per year, but with larger stores and sales staffs." �Jaffe believes Fastenal is a well managed company and thinks that this new operating strategy will enable it to leverage its store expenses as the sales base increases at individual sites. �He also points to the company's very healthy balance sheet, with no long-term debt as of March 31, 2010, as a positive for the company. �The company is scheduled to report second quarter earnings on Tuesday, July 13."In looking at Fastenal's longer-term prospects, we think it still has considerable room for expansion in North America, where nearly all of its stores are currently located," Mr. Jaffe said. �"The company was operating 2,400 sites at May 31, 2010 and believes that North America could support at least 3,500 stores. �While expansion outside of North America is still in its infant stage, we think it provides the company with a platform for substantial expansion in the future."To view a video of Mr. Jaffe discussing FAST paste the following link into your browser. �http://link.delvenetworks.com/media/?mediaId=30931eab45b74858b5764fd341696a78&width=480&height=411&playerForm=DelvePlayer About Standard & Poor's Equity Research ServicesAs the world's largest producer of independent equity research, Standard & Poor's licenses its research to global institutions for their investors and advisors. �Standard & Poor's team of experienced U.S., European and Asian equity analysts use a fundamental, bottom-up approach to assess a global universe of multi-asset class securities across industries worldwide. �Follow Standard & Poor's equity analysts' U.S. market commentary each day at http://www.equityresearch.standardandpoors.com/. The equity research reports and recommendations provided by Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services are performed separately from any other analytic activity of Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services has no access to non-public information received by other units of Standard & Poor's. �Standard & Poor's does not trade for its own account. �The analytical and ethical conduct of Standard & Poor's equity analysts is governed by the firm's Research Objectivity Policy, a copy of which may also be found at www.standardandpoors.com or by clicking here. About Standard & Poor'sStandard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MHP),�is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data. With offices in 23 countries and markets, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for�150�years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit�www.standardandpoors.com.All information provided by Standard & Poor's is impersonal and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. �Past performance is no indication of future results. Standard & Poor's and its affiliates provide a wide range of services to, or relating to, many organizations, including issuers of securities, investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment banks, other financial institutions and financial intermediaries, and accordingly may receive fees or other economic benefits from those organizations, including organizations whose securities or services they may recommend, rate, include in model portfolios, evaluate or otherwise address.S&P Global STARS DistributionIn North AmericaAs of June 30, 2010, research analysts at Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services North America recommended 38.2% of issuers with buy recommendations, 52.2% with hold recommendations and 9.6% with sell recommendations.In EuropeAs of June 30, 2010, research analysts at Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services Europe recommended 35.7% of issuers with buy recommendations, 40.7% with hold recommendations and 23.6% with sell recommendations.In AsiaAs of June 30, 2010 research analysts at Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services Asia recommended 45.3% of issuers with buy recommendations, 48.3% with hold recommendations and 6.4% with sell recommendations.GloballyAs of June 30, 2010, research analysts at Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services globally recommended 38.4% of issuers with buy recommendations, 49.8% with hold recommendations and 11.8% with sell recommendations.5-STARS (Strong Buy): Total return is expected to outperform the total return of a relevant benchmark, by a wide margin over the coming 12 months, with shares rising in price on an absolute basis.4-STARS (Buy): Total return is expected to outperform the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, with shares rising in price on an absolute basis.3-STARS (Hold): Total return is expected to closely approximate the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, with shares generally rising in price on an absolute basis.2-STARS (Sell): Total return is expected to underperform the total return of a relevant benchmark over the coming 12 months, and the share price is not anticipated to show a gain.1-STARS (Strong Sell): Total return is expected to underperform the total return of a relevant benchmark by a wide margin over the coming 12 months, with shares falling in price on an absolute basis.Relevant benchmarks: In North America, the relevant benchmark is the S&P 500 Index, in Europe and in Asia, the relevant benchmarks are generally the S&P Europe 350 Index and the S&P Asia 50 Index.This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only correct as of the stated date of their issue. Prices, values, or income from any securities or investments mentioned in this report may fall against the interests of the investor and the investor may get back less than the amount invested. Where an investment is described as being likely to yield income, please note that the amount of income that the investor will receive from such an investment may fluctuate. Where an investment or security is denominated in a different currency to the investor's currency of reference, changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of or from that investment to the investor. The information contained in this report does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation of particular securities, financial instruments or strategies to you nor is it considered to be investment advice. Before acting on any recommendation in this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice.This material is based upon information that we consider to be reliable, but neither S&P nor its affiliates warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. With respect to reports issued to clients in Japan and in the case of inconsistencies between the English and Japanese version of a report, the English version prevails. Neither S&P nor its affiliates guarantee the accuracy of the translation. Assumptions, opinions and estimates constitute our judgment as of the date of this material and are subject to change without notice. Neither S&P nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.SOURCE Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchFor further information: Marc Eiger, Communications, +1-212-438-1280, marc_eiger@standardandpoors.com