Fastenal’s net earnings were up 8.8 percent in the first quarter, the company announced this week.
The company reported $109 million in net earnings, up from $100.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
It also installed 4,300 new vending machines, an increase of 20 percent from the previous quarter.
The vending machines, which the company installs in factories and workplaces to allow employees to purchase parts and other materials like safety glasses or gloves, have become a significant part of the company’s business. Vending machine installations are up 160 percent dating back to March 2012, the company said.
Fastenal’s overall sales have continued to grow but the percentage has slowed, with the company reporting a 4.9 percent increase in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 20 percent the previous quarter. In its earnings report, the company attributed the slowdown to uncertainty about global economic policies.
Fastenal also opened 11 new retail stores in the first quarter.
The company announced a cash dividend of 20 cents a share.