Fastenal Starts to See a Slowdown in the Fourth Quarter

Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, were $2.34 billion, an increase of 13.5 percent from the prior year. Profit was up to $279.7 million, an increase of 20.2 percent.
 
While its annual numbers were strong, the distributor said in its earnings call that the fourth quarter slowed significantly.
 
In October, sales growth was at 11.9 percent; November was at 6.8 percent, and December saw no sales growth. CEO Willard Oberton said that December was the first time in Fastenal's 42-year history that the distributor saw no growth year-over-year.
 
Looking forward into 2009, things are very slow, Oberton said. "It's difficult out there. Right now, looking at our January sales numbers, we ...

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