Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO) reported mixed news today with an increase in net sales for the fourth quarter to 3.9% combined with lower comparable store sales. Net sales are up to $1.65 billion from $1.58 billion year over year. Comparable store transactions saw an increase of 0.6% and comparable sales an increase of 3.1%.
However, comparable store sales decreased with 1.4% compared a 5.3% gain last year. Sales were below expectations according the company’s CEO Greg Sandfort. Sandfort attributed the decrease to weakness in the key cold weather seasonal categories of heating with Northeast and Midwest regions being hit the most. At the same time sales in big ticket items like snow blowers, log splitters and generators were smooth.
Despite the challenges of unseasonably warm weather in parts of the country, sales of non-seasonal, basic products were stronger. The company is still anticipating better results in its net income for the fourth quarter.
Tractor Supply expects EPS to fall within the range of $0.81 to $0.82 per diluted share. Full year EPS estimates range from $2.99 to $3.00 per diluted share for fiscal 2015.
Meanwhile, the company projects net income in a range of $3.40 to $3.48 per diluted share next year. This projection includes expenses related to the company’s expanded operations including Casa Grande, Arizona distribution center.
Tractor’s CFO Anthony Crudele added that the company is aware that first quarter sales are seriously inclined to spring performance, and that it is ready to capitalize.