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Tractor Supply records strong Q3

BY HBSDealer Staff

Strong results in consumable categories, a little inflation and some Hurricane Irene-related sales fueled an 11.5% same-store sales increase and led to a strong overall third-quarter financial performance at Tractor Supply. 

Net income for the quarter was $42.7 million, up 42.8% from net income of $29.9 million in the third quarter of the prior year.

Third-quarter net sales increased 17.9% to $977.8 million from $829.1 million in the prior year’s third quarter.

“We generated double-digit increases in both sales and earnings on top of last year’s record results while improving gross margin and leveraging (selling, general and administrative expenses),” said Jim Wright, Tractor Supply’s chairman and CEO. “This strong performance, which also included positive ticket and traffic, reflects the impact of our strategic initiatives and our ability to respond to our customers’ everyday rural lifestyle needs. Additionally, we executed exceptionally well and successfully managed through the inflationary environment. We are delighted that we continue to experience broad-based strength across the business.” 

The company opened 12 new stores during the quarter and ended the period with 1,054 stores in 44 states.

During the first nine months of 2011, net income was $152.2 million, up 29% from net income of $117.8 million for the first nine months of 2010. Net sales for this period increased 14.9% to $2.99 billion from $2.61 billion in the first nine months of 2010. Same-store sales increased 8.5% compared to a 4.8% increase in the first nine months of 2010. 

The company opened 54 new stores, relocated two stores and closed one store, compared with 47 new store openings and one store closure during the first nine months of 2010.

Looking forward, Tractor Supply now expects full-year profits to range from $2.85 to $2.89 a share compared with a previous estimate of $2.75 to $2.82 a share.

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Sherwin-Williams to pay for hazardous waste

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sherwin-Williams has agreed to pay $570,000 to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its paint manufacturing facility at 2325 Hollins Ferry Rd. in Baltimore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. 

EPA cited Sherwin-Williams for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which governs the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

EPA alleged the following violations:
• Storage of 55-gal. drums of waste paint for greater than 90 days;
• Failure to date and properly label hazardous waste containers;
• Failure to properly close and prevent hazardous waste containers from leaking;
• Failure to comply with certain inspection requirements for hazardous waste containers; and
• Failure to immediately respond to a release at the facility.

As part of the settlement, Sherwin-Williams has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified its compliance with applicable RCRA requirements. 

The RCRA is designed to protect public health and the environment, and avoid costly cleanups by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

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Retail container traffic to rise 2.6% in October

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.6% in October over the same month last year and should reach its highest level of the year as retailers stock up for the holiday season.

“After a summer of trying to compare apples to oranges, retail cargo is back to normal,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP supply chain and customs policy. “October is the historic peak of the shipping cycle each year, and retailers are bringing merchandise into the country on their usual schedule and at normal levels again instead of being forced to move cargo early. Retailers are poised to succeed in maintaining the careful balance between inventory and sales that keeps customers happy while keeping retailers profitable.” 

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.32 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was the same as July, but down 7% from August 2010. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.

The August figures followed year-over-year declines of 5% in June and 4% in July, but the statistics were skewed because of higher-than-normal numbers in 2010, when fears of shortages in shipping capacity caused many retailers to bring holiday merchandise into the country earlier than usual. Global Port Tracker counts only the number of cargo containers imported, not the value of their contents, so cargo volume does not directly correlate with retail sales.

Year-over-year cargo growth resumed but was weak in September, which was estimated at 1.37 million TEU, up 2.7% from last year. October is forecast at 1.39 million TEU, up 2.6% from last year, and is expected to regain its historical position as the busiest month of the year after last year’s usual patterns shifted the peak to August. November is forecast at 1.28 million TEU, up 4%, and December is forecast at 1.18 million TEU, up 2.7%. January 2012 is forecast at 1.16 million TEU, down 3.6% from January 2011; and February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.1 million TEU, down 3.8%.

The total for 2011 is forecast at 15 million TEU, up 1.8% from 2010. Imports during 2010 totaled 14.7 million TEU, a 16% increase over unusually low numbers in 2009.

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