Fastenal: was worth buying then, is worth buying now
Fastenal has performed steadily through the last year or so, recently hitting a high of $54. Everything's been selling off in the recent phase of the crisis and the stock price is now $41 and change.
And yet, Fastenal released data showing their daily September sales are up 14% from this time last year. They have actually been steadily growing sales through the last phase of the crisis.
Fastenal generates an excess of free cash flow, has no long term debt and is able to fund its current expansion plan from cash flow. That's an excellent place to be in right now, given the cost of debt. I recently ended a pick on Cemex; I was uncomfortable with their debt situation, as they had some coming due fairly soon. Although Fastenal's growth will also be slowed by the credit crunch, I think they will come out ahead.
Another short term positive for Fastenal is its recent addition to the S&P 500 index. Obviously, index funds have to buy the stock, which isn't a bad thing. I should note that Fastenal reports their quarterly results on Oct 13 and that one might expect volatility either way. The September data they released, however, contains no surprises (although it's surprising that they released any).