Farm and ranch retailer Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO) reported first quarter sales this morning and absolutely crushed expectations. Total sales reached $1.02 billion, sharply above estimates of $937.4 million. Same-store sales rose 11.5%. The company attributed the jump to warmer weather.
But the big news came on the earnings front. The company is now forecasting EPS of $0.53-$0.55, well above the current consensus estimate of $0.32:
This includes an estimated benefit of $0.09 to $0.11 per diluted share from the pull-forward of sales into the first quarter, from the second quarter, due to the early spring weather. Guidance also reflects the expectation that gross margin for the first quarter of 2012 will be slightly below prior-year levels due, in part, to warmer weather in January and February that necessitated markdowns to sell through winter seasonal merchandise.
Given the “pull-forward” of sales, here’s what the company expects the full year to produce:
Net sales are now expected to range between $4.61 billion and $4.68 billion compared to 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 to the prior expectation for an increase of 3% to 5%. Net income is now expected to range between $260 million and $265 million compared to the prior expectation of $246 million to $253 million. The Company now anticipates full year net income will range between $3.52 and $3.60 per diluted share compared to its previous guidance of $3.38 to $3.46 per diluted share.
The consensus estimate for full-year EPS had been $3.52 and the consensus revenue estimate had been $4.65 billion.
Shares have risen to $95.00 in the pre-market, which would be a new 52-week high if it holds up. Tractor Supply’s stock has traded in a 52-week range of $49.02-$93.50.