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Consumables boost Tractor Supply sales in Q4

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Tractor Supply Company reported that net sales for the fourth quarter increased to $1.29 billion, or 3.7% over the prior year's 14-week period.

Same-store sales increased 4.7% compared with a strong 7.6% increase in the prior-year period.The same-store sales increase was driven primarily by continued strong results in key consumable, usable and edible (C.U.E.) products, principally animal- and pet-related merchandise.

Net income for the quarter was $79.5 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $70.5 million, or 96 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of the prior year. 

The company opened 25 new stores in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to 31 new store openings in the prior year's fourth quarter. 

Greg Sandfort, president and CEO, stated, "Our fourth quarter performance demonstrates the underlying strength we have built in our business, while we continue to drive improved profitability through our strategic initiatives.  Our core C.U.E. categories again posted solid increases above last year in both sales and units, and our ability to plan, prepare, execute and react quickly to the trends we are seeing in our business allowed us to deliver our 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year transaction count increases.  Our team executed exceptionally well, delivering a strong same-store sales gain of 4.7% on top of last year's strong 7.6% comp increase, managing through less than ideal weather conditions for sales of cold weather products and despite less benefit from inflation than last year.  We are also delighted with our ability to once again generate double-digit EPS growth during the fourth quarter on top of a strong double-digit increase last year."

For the full year, the company reported that net sales increased to $4.66 billion, or 10.2% over the prior year's 53-week period.  Same-store sales increased 5.3% compared with an 8.2% increase in fiscal 2011.

For fiscal 2012, net income was $276.5 million, or $3.80 per diluted share, compared to net income of $222.7 million, or $3.01 per diluted share, for fiscal 2011. 

The company opened 93 new stores and closed two stores during fiscal 2012 compared to 85 new store openings and one store closure during fiscal 2011.

Tractor Supply anticipates net sales for fiscal 2013 will range between $5.07 billion and $5.17 billion, with same-store sales expected to increase 3% to 5%.

The company projects fiscal 2013 full year net income to range from $4.32 to $4.40 per diluted share.