Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tractor Supply shares up on higher 2010 earnings outlook

Shares of Tractor Supply Co. are up more than 7 percent in trading today after the operator of farm-equipment stores raised its expectations for fiscal 2010 sales and net income.
Brentwood-based Tractor Supply said that it now expects net income of $3.48 to $3.60 a share this year, vs. its previous forecast of $3.30 to $3.42. It also now forecasts annual net sales of $3.44 billion to $3.50 billion, up from its original expectations of $3.42 billion to $3.48 billion.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $3.39 a share for all of 2010.

Tractor Supply also expects sales at stores opened at least a year to increase by 1 percent to 3 percent, up from its prior guidance of 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

The company provided the updated outlook while previewing results for its recent first quarter.

For its fiscal first quarter that ended March 27, Tractor Supply expects net income of about $8 million to $9 million, or 22 cents to 24 cents a share. That would be up from $500,000, or a penny a share, for last year’s first quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a penny a share for the recent first quarter.

Sales rose 9.3 percent to $710.9 million, while sales at stores opened at least a year rose 2.8 percent vs. an increase of 4.2 percent in the year-earlier first quarter.

Tractor Supply’s stock was up $4.41 to $65.89 in trading shortly after 11 a.m. central time this morning.

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