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Tractor Supply delivers EPS growth in Q3

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Tractor Supply Company reported that net sales for the third quarter increased 9% to $1.07 billion from $977.8 million in the prior year's third quarter. Same-store sales increased 2.9% compared with a very strong 11.5% increase in the prior-year period.  The same-store sales increase was driven primarily by continued strong results in key consumable, usable and edible products, principally animal- and pet-related merchandise.

Net income for the quarter was $50 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $42.7 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of the prior year.

The company opened 17 new stores and closed one store in the third quarter of 2012 compared with 12 new store openings and one store closure in the prior year's third quarter.

Jim Wright, chairman and CEO, stated, "We are delighted with our ability to once again generate double-digit EPS growth during the third quarter, with our team executing exceptionally well through less than ideal weather conditions.  We are pleased with our same store sales gain in light of last year's very strong 11.5% comp increase and moderate inflation this year.  Our core C.U.E. businesses posted solid increases above last year.  Additionally, we demonstrated our ability to recognize and react quickly to the regional weather trends that developed through the quarter. As a testament to the progress we are making on our key initiatives and the stability we have built in our business, we achieved our 18th consecutive quarter of comp transaction count increases."

The company said net sales for the full-year 2012 are now expected to range between $4.61 billion and $4.65 billion compared with the company's previously expected range of $4.58 billion and $4.65 billion. Same-store sales for the year are now expected to increase 4% to 5% compared with the prior expectation for an increase of 3.5% to 5%. Based on stronger than expected net income per diluted share for the third quarter, the Company now anticipates net income per diluted share for the full-year 2012 will range between $3.63 and $3.69, compared with its previous guidance of $3.58 and $3.66.