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Tractor Supply Co. to open up to 115 new stores in 2015


New York -- Expansion plans are under way at surging Tractor Supply Co., which had a 5.7% increase in same store sales and a 19% increase in earnings in the first quarter.

The Tennessee-based retailer said it plans to open 110 to 115 new stores in 2015, as well as build a new distribution center in Casa Grande, Ariz. For the first quarter, same store transaction count increased 4.8% and average ticket increased 0.8%. Pet and heating consumables, fencing, truck accessories and tools all performed well, the company said.

"We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter and the overall trends in our business. Sales growth was well balanced across all major merchandise categories and geographic regions, driven by increases in both traffic and ticket,” said Greg Sandfort, Tractor Supply’s president and CEO. “Our merchandising and inventory management teams did an excellent job of managing assortments and inventory levels to deliver strong sales. We had the right products at the right time to meet customer demand in seasonal and everyday C.U.E. products. The momentum of the business has continued into April with more normalized spring weather, and we believe we are well positioned to continue to meet our customers' ongoing needs."

Net sales at Tractor Supply increased 12.5% in the first quarter to $1.33 billion from $1.18 billion in the prior year's first quarter. Overall, Tractor Supply reported a profit of $58 million, or 42 cents a share, up from $48.8 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 13% to $1.33 billion. The company said transportation costs had a favorable impact on gross margin as lower fuel costs more than offset the increased stem miles caused by its western store expansion.

The company opened 41 new stores and closed one store in the first quarter compared to 32 new store openings and no store closures in the prior year's first quarter.

For fiscal 2015, Tractor Supply anticipates that net sales will range between $6.2 billion and $6.3 billion, with same store sales expected to increase 2.5% to 4.0%.The company projects fiscal 2015 full year net income to range from $2.95 to $3.05 per diluted share. For the full year, the company expects capital expenditures to range between $240 million and $250 million.

As of March 28, Tractor Supply Co. operated 1,422 stores in 49 states.

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