The next time you call the investor relations department of a company you own to ask why it can't be bothered to put a balance sheet or a cash flow statement at the end of its earnings release -- requiring you to wait weeks for it to file a 10-Q report with the SEC -- give it Fastenal's release and demand an explanation. Then listen for the sound of shame coming through the line.
Besides the cash flow statement and balance sheet (along with, of course, the earnings statement), Fastenal assembles an impressive array of information -- and doesn't make you wait for a Securities and Exchange Commission filing to see it. Among the data in its latest:
- Year-over-year daily sales growth rates for the last 45 months -- meaning you don't need to dig up old documents to compare current and past performance -- along with helpful discussion that adds context;
- A detailed discussion of profit margins and the factors that might affect them in coming quarters;
- A close look at inventory growth and the drivers that made up the change in the balance sheet number; and
- More. In short, it's a far cry from "traditional" earnings releases that trumpet management genius in good times and blame everything short of the moon's gravitational pull in bad.
Fastenal's management -- along with management at other companies we've praised, such as Berkshire Hathaway
In Fastenal's case, for one, it's a strategy that's paid off handsomely -- nay, ridiculously. It's difficult not to believe there's some kind of connection.
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Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story.