Tractor Supply Co., the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States, has announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 28, 2013. Additionally, the Company provided its initial outlook for fiscal 2014.
Fourth Quarter Results
Net sales increased 10.0% to $1.42 billion from $1.29 billion in the prior year's fourth quarter. Comparable store sales increased 3.5% versus a 4.7% increase in the prior year period. The increase in comparable store sales was driven by continued strong results in key consumable, usable and edible (C.U.E.) products, principally animal- and pet-related merchandise. Seasonal items, predominantly heating and insulated outerwear, also performed well due to the cold weather in the latter part of the quarter.
Gross profit increased 13.0% to $479.7 million from $424.6 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. As a percent of sales, gross margin increased 90 basis points to 33.9% from 33.0% in the prior year period. Gross margin improvement was the result of strong inventory and markdown management, solid retail price management in C.U.E. products and a mix shift to higher margin seasonal product, such as insulated outerwear and footwear. Additionally, the company was cycling strong sales of lower-margin emergency response products as a result of Hurricane Sandy in the prior year.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased to 23.5% of sales compared to 23.3% of sales in the prior year's fourth quarter. The increase as a percent of sales was primarily attributable to costs related to the relocated Southeast distribution center and a new corporate data center.
Net income for the quarter was $95.9 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared to net income of $79.5 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of the prior year. All references to per share amounts reflect a two-for-one stock split that was effective September 26, 2013.
The company opened 31 new stores in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 25 new store openings in the prior year's fourth quarter.
Greg Sandfort, president and chief executive officer, stated, "We are very pleased with our strong fourth quarter and full-year results. The fourth quarter marked our 17th consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales and our 23rd consecutive quarter of positive comparable transaction counts. In recent years, we have grown our business effectively despite challenging economic environments and volatile weather trends. We believe our results are a function of the balanced approach we take to run our business, through managing sales, margins, expenses and capital investments.
Sandfort continued, "We are proud of our many achievements over the past year, which included the celebration of the Company's 75th anniversary; our first store openings in Arizona, Nevada and Wyoming; the relocation of our southeast distribution center; and the company's recent addition to the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, we believe we are well-positioned to continue executing our strategic sales- and margin-enhancing initiatives and investing in the business to drive long-term sustainable growth and shareholder value."
Full Year Results
Net sales increased 10.7% to $5.16 billion from $4.66 billion in fiscal 2012. Comparable store sales increased 4.8% versus a 5.3% increase in fiscal 2012. Gross profit increased 12.0% to $1.75 billion from $1.57 billion and gross margin increased 40 basis points to 34.0% of sales from 33.6% of sales for fiscal 2012.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 9.7% to $1.24 billion, and improved as a percent of sales to 24.0% compared to 24.2% for fiscal 2012.
Net income increased 18.7% to $328.2 million from $276.5 million and net income per diluted share increased 22.1% to $2.32 from $1.90 for fiscal 2012. All references to per share amounts reflect a two-for-one stock split that was effective September 26, 2013.
During fiscal 2013, the company opened 102 new stores and closed two stores compared to 93 new store openings and two store closures during fiscal 2012.
Fiscal 2014 Outlook
The company anticipates net sales for fiscal 2014 will range between $5.62 billion and $5.70 billion, with comparable store sales expected to increase 2.5% to 4.0%. The Company projects fiscal 2014 full year net income to range from$2.54 to $2.62 per diluted share. For the full year, the Company expects capital expenditures to range between $240 million and $250 million, including spending to support 102 to 106 new store openings and construction of the new Store Support Center to open in 2014.
Conference Call Information
Tractor Supply Co. will be hosting a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time today to discuss the quarterly results. The call will be broadcast simultaneously over the Internet on the Company's website at TractorSupply.com and can be accessed under the link "Investor Relations." The webcast will be archived shortly after the conference call concludes and will be available through February 12, 2014.