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Tractor Supply passes billion-dollar barrier in first quarter

Reacting quickly to an early spring, Brentwood, Tenn.-based Tractor Supply Co. said its first-quarter sales increased 22% to $1.02 billion.

Same-store sales for the quarter increased 11.5%. The country’s largest farm-and-ranch retailer, which will release its full first-quarter earnings results April 25, said the same-store sales increase was driven, in part, by early spring weather in 2012.

"We are delighted to have achieved record first-quarter sales in excess of $1 billion for the first time in Tractor Supply's history, with favorable customer response to our spring assortments and ongoing merchandising enhancements,” said CEO Jim Wright. “The structural improvements we have made to our business in recent years have enabled us to adapt our assortments more readily to meet consumer demand and react quickly to take advantage of events, such as the early spring weather seen in March.”

Based on strong results in the first quarter, Tractor Supply raised its financial expectations for 2012. Net sales are now expected to range between $4.61 billion and $4.68 billion compared with the company's previously expected range of $4.56 billion to $4.66 billion. Same-store sales for the full year are now expected to increase 4.0% to 5.5% compared with the prior expectation for an increase of 3% to 5%.  Net income is now expected to range between $260 million and $265 million compared with the prior expectation of $246 million to $253 million. 

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