Fastenal sales up 23 percent

The Fastenal Company reported sales climbed 23 percent to $640.6 million in the first quarter.

Net earnings increased 42 percent to $79.5 million, or 54 cents per share, compared to $56 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same period last year. During the first three months of 2011, the Winona, Minn.-based distributor opened 37 new stores, compared to 29 new stores in the same period of 2010.

Sales to manufacturing customers increased by 15.5 percent for the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2010. The growth was more pronounced among industrial production business and less pronounced in the maintenance end-user segment.Sales to non-residential construction customers grew by 17.7 percent.

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