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Fastenal Earnings Disappoint, but the Industrial Sector Shows Improvement

Industrial supply company Fastenal (NASDAQ: FAST) is always closely watched during earnings season because its results come early and the company is seen as a bellwether of the manufacturing sector. As such the stock’s near-5% decline on the day of its earnings release this week might have caused industrial investors to fear the worst. However, on closer inspection the fall appears to be related more to concerns about Fastenal rather than a vote of no confidence in the manufacturing sector. Here’s why.

The key points for investors are:

Putting these points together, it could be argued that the stock market reaction is more about concerns over Fastenal’s particular sales and margin trajectory rather than fear that the industrial recovery has been thrown off course.

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