* Q3 EPS $0.51 vs est $0.50
* Q3 rev $603.8 mln vs est $595.5 mln
Oct 12 (Reuters) - Industrial distributor Fastenal Co (FAST.O) posted quarterly results that beat market estimates, helped by lower expenses and higher sales to manufacturing customers.
The Winona, Minnesota-based company’s stores stock about 690,000 products in about a dozen categories, including threaded fasteners such as screws, nuts, and bolts, janitorial, electrical, and welding supplies.
For the third quarter, net income was $75 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $47.6 million, or 32 cents a share a year ago.
Revenue rose 17 percent to $603.8 million. Sales to manufacturing customers increased 30.6 percent.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 50 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $595.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Fastenal, which competes with WW Grainger Inc (GWW.N) and MSC Industrial Direct Co Inc (MSM.N), said operating and administrative expenses fell to 32.6 percent of sales compared with 35.8 percent last year.
Shares of the company, which have gained about 11 percent in less than a month, were down 2 percent at $53.71 in pre-market trade Tuesday. They closed at $54.75 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)