The firm last month warned that it would miss, citing lower sales and margins, and rising costs.
Fastenal Co. just missed Wall Street expectations in the fourth quarter, earning 33 cents a share compared with the 34 cents analysts were expecting.
The results came after Fastenal warned last month that it would miss fourth-quarter earnings expectations because of weak sales, increased employee costs and lower-than-expected gross margins.
“This weakening was worse than we expected, and this created additional drain on our ability to grow earnings,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. Weakening sales were accompanied by lower gross profit margins, it said.
Fastenal shares fell 4.5 percent to $46.06 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the biggest drop in the S&P 500 on Wednesday.
Fourth-quarter earnings rose half a percent to $99.2 million, said the Winona, Minn.-based firm, which sells safety supplies and nuts, bolts and other fasteners to construction and manufacturing firms through retail stores and industrial vending machines.
Revenue rose 7.5 percent to $813.8 million, slightly above the $813.3 million Wall Street had expected.
The decline in fourth-quarter gross margins was largely driven by lower use of the firm’s trucking network, lower supplier incentives, product mix and competition, Fastenal said.
For the year, Fastenal earned $1.51 per share, almost the $1.52 per share that Wall Street had expected, on revenue of $3.3 billion, even with analysts’ expectations.
Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553