Industrial and construction supplies provider Fastenal Co. reported third-quarter net earnings of $197.6 million, up 38.1% from $143.1 million in the same period in 2017.
EPS rose on a yearly basis to 69 cents from 50 cents. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate for normalized EPS for the quarter was 67 cents.
Fastenal said its third-quarter EPS includes a benefit of 12 cents resulting from the combined effects of discrete tax items and a lower tax rate.
Net sales rose 13.0% year over year to $1.28 billion from $1.13 billion in the prior-year quarter due to higher unit sales related to strong underlying market demand and contribution from the company's industrial vendors and onsite locations. Higher product pricing also contributed to sales growth during the quarter.
The company reported an operating income of $262.3 million for the quarter, up 14.8% from $228.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating and administrative expenses, as a percentage of net sales, improved to 27.6% in the quarter from 28.9% a year earlier.
For the first nine months of 2018, Fastenal reported net earnings of $583.1 million, or $2.03 per share, compared with $426.2 million, or $1.48 per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 13.1% to $3.73 billion from $3.30 billion.