Tractor Supply shows strength despite tough weather conditions

Sales of animal- and pet-related merchandise and winter seasonal items helped push up sales at Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. in the first quarter ended March 29. 

Net sales increased 9.0% in the quarter to $1.18 billion, up from $1.09 billion in the same quarter last year. Comparable-store sales increased 2.2%. 

Net income for the quarter increased 10.9% to $48.8 million, up from $44.0 million 

Greg Sandfort, president and CEO, said the first-quarter results demonstrated an ability to perform during tough weather conditions. "Despite the late arrival of spring, our comparable-store transaction count increased a strong 4.4%, and we continued to gain market share by offering our customers a one-stop shop for their everyday basic needs," he said. "Our teams continue to work diligently to adjust timing of shipments, depth of inventory and marketing cadence by region to ensure we are well-positioned to capitalize on the spring selling season as temperatures normalize."

Selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased to 26.8% of sales compared with 26.1% of sales in the prior year's first quarter. The increase as a percent of sales was primarily attributable to higher occupancy and store-level costs directly related to the extreme cold weather for items, such as utilities, snow removal and building repair, as well as increased distribution center costs.

The company opened 32 new stores in the first quarter, including its 1,300th in Bullhead City, Ariz.

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