Fastenal’s quarterly earnings report, which sent shares of the industrial distributor sharply lower on Tuesday morning, makes a difference beyond the implications for the stock itself.
Fastenal (ticker: FAST) is one of the earliest industrial companies to report numbers. Larger, better-known industrial companies start disclosing their third quarter earnings in a couple of weeks.
More important, Fastenal is a distributor of thousands of small, lower- priced items used by businesses around the U.S. every day. Its sales trends are a good, real-time indicator of what is going on at the shop-floor level. The figures offer clues for investors about the coming earnings season and about the health of the U.S. economy.
“I find Fastenal to be a great bellwether for the industrial side of the U.S. economy,” said Peter Boockvar, Chief Investment Officer at Bleakley Advisory