The US retail chain Fastenal Company (FAST) released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results this week. Although demand for the company’s products declined because of COVID-19, sales increased.

Even experienced traders have been caught off guard by the baffling behavior of the stock market. Markets sometimes turn in the opposite direction, even when results are what was expected. Such events often lead to a great deal of speculation and doubt. During this time, it may be worthwhile to keep track of a stock’s past price performance. Knowing the stock’s trends would also be useful, both in the short term and in the long term. Over the last week, Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST) share prices have decreased by -5.00%, but they are still up 7.81% from prices posted in the quarter prior. More recently, the stock’s price has declined 5.93% over the last six months, whereas it has declined -1.36% in year-to-date trading.

In the fourth quarter, revenue for Fastenal Company (FAST) increased 6.4% year-on-year to $1.36 billion. A 2.3% drop in sales was attributed to a decline in fasteners demand. Although personal protective equipment sales fell, the antiseptic market increased. The pandemic has prompted increased demand for these commodities over the past year. Gross margins declined by 46.6% because of a contraction in demand.

Fastenal’s net sales reached $5.6 billion at the end of the year, up 5.9 %. The net income per share was 1.45 dollars, an 8.4% rise.

On average, Fastenal could grow its profits in 2020, despite a coronavirus pandemic. Another advantage of the company was its network of vending machines, which operated in forced self-isolation conditions.

Fastenal Company (FAST) will continue to face uncertainty in 2021 unless COVID-19 resolve. The company closed 5% of publicly representative brands and implemented a staff reduction of 9.3% last year. Currently, Fastenal has to stabilize sales because of a low margin product mix that dominates the market. Fastenal continues to expand across its vending network and now uses RFID to improve its supply chain management and order picking systems.

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