Tractor Supply Sees Warm Weather Impact Comps In Q4

Tractor Supply Company has reported its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 26, 2015, with warm weather impacting results.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 3.9% to $1.65 billion from $1.58 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Comparable store sales decreased 1.4% for the quarter compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter increase of 5.3%. Comparable store transaction counts increased by 0.6%.

The same store sales decrease in the fourth quarter was primarily driven by weakness in key cold weather seasonal categories of heating and insulated outerwear, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest regions, the company said.

Net income decreased 0.3% to $111.7 million from $112.1 million and diluted earnings per share increased 1.2% to $0.82 from $0.81 in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

In addition, the company began shipping merchandise to stores from its new distribution facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, in the fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year, net sales increased 9% to $6.23 billion from $5.71 billion in fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales increased 3.1% versus a 3.8% increase in fiscal 2014. Net income increased 10.7% to $410.4 million from $370.9 million and net income per diluted share increased 12.8% to $3.00 from $2.66 for fiscal 2014.

Greg Sandfort, president and CEO, Tractor Supply Company, stated, “While our fourth quarter sales were below our expectations due principally to the record warm temperatures across most of the country, we effectively managed our markdown cadence and inventory flow throughout the period. As temperatures have normalized, sell-through of cold-weather seasonal items has improved. Further, we believe we have a solid plan in place to meet our customers’ seasonal needs as we transition to the important spring selling season.”

The company opened 114 new stores and closed eight stores during the fiscal year and anticipates opening 120 new stores this year. Tractor Supply Company currently operates 1,488 stores in 49 states.