Tractor Supply sees Q3 gains

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply reported a third-quarter net income of $32.0 million, up 45.5% from $22.0 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 25 were $829.1 million, up 10.9% from $747.7 million for the third quarter in 2009.

Same-store sales saw a 5.0% increase compared with a 5.1% decrease for the same period last year. The company said the increase was due to continued strength in animal- and pet-related merchandise; seasonal warm weather items and apparel also performed well.

The company said it opened nine new stores in the quarter compared with 17 new store openings and one relocation in the prior year's third quarter.

"We are pleased that our results for the quarter reflect broad-based strength across the business and high store traffic in all markets,” said Jim Wright, chairman and CEO. “We maintained solid in-stock positions and served our customers' rural lifestyle needs as the team continued to enhance execution in merchandising, inventory management and marketing. As a result, we exceeded our expectations for the top and bottom line while achieving gross margin expansion and SG&A leverage."

Looking forward, the company has increased its sales expectation for the year to a range of $3.53 billion to $3.55 billion, compared with its previously expected range of $3.49 billion to $3.53 billion. For the year, the company anticipates same-store sales will increase 4.0% to 4.5% compared with its previous expectation of an increase of 2.5% to 3.5%.

"In 2010, we have demonstrated our ability to grow and improve the business while driving shareholder value. With the right strategies, capital structure and talent in place, we are increasingly confident in our outlook for fiscal 2010 and continuing to build on our momentum for the long term," Wright said.