BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the U.S., announces financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 26, 2015. Additionally, the Company provided its initial outlook for fiscal 2016.
Fourth Quarter 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%, which represents the 31st consecutive quarter of transaction count growth.
The same store sales decrease in the fourth quarter was primarily driven by weakness in the key cold-weather seasonal categories of heating (stoves and fuel) and insulated outerwear, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Sales were also impacted by softness in seasonal big ticket items such as snow blowers, log splitters and generators. The weakness in seasonal categories was partially offset by continued sales strength in year-round basic products such as livestock feed, pet food and hardware.
Gross profit increased 4.0% to $561.0 million from $539.6 million in the prior year's fourth quarter, and gross margin remained relatively flat to the prior year at 34.1%. Strong price and markdown management was offset by a higher sales mix of consumable, usable, and edible (C.U.E.) products, which carry below chain average gross margins.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 7.1% to $387.7 million from $361.9 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. As a percent of net sales, SG&A expenses increased 80 basis points to 23.6%. The increase as a percentage of net sales was primarily attributable to the decline in comparable store sales and the incremental costs associated with the Company's new distribution facility in Casa Grande, Ariz.. These increases were partially offset by lower year-over-year incentive compensation expense as a percentage of sales.
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.
The Company opened 26 new stores and closed 3 stores, two of which were Del's stores, in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 22 new store openings and 1 store closure in the prior year's fourth quarter. In addition, the Company began shipping merchandise to stores from its new distribution facility in Casa Grande, Ariz., in the fourth quarter.
Greg Sandfort, President and Chief Executive Officer, 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."
Sandfort continued, "We have a very loyal customer who continues to shop our stores for their everyday basic needs. We continue to take a long-term, balanced approach to managing and growing the business and believe we have the strategies and tools in place to meet our annual target of mid-teens earnings per share growth in 2016."
Fiscal 2015 Results
Net sales increased 9.0% 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. Gross profit increased 9.9% to $2.14 billion from $1.95 billion, and gross margin increased 30 basis points to 34.4% of sales from 34.1% of sales in fiscal 2014.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 9.7% to $1.49 billion and increased as a percent of sales to 24.0% compared to 23.8% for 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.
The Company opened 114 new stores and closed 8 stores, five of which were Del's stores, in fiscal 2015 compared to 107 new store openings and 1 store closure during fiscal 2014.
Fiscal 2016 Outlook
The Company is providing the following guidance for the results of operations expected for fiscal 2016:
|Net Sales||$6.9 billion - $7.0 billion|
|Comparable Store Sales||3.5% - 5.0%|
|Net Income||$455 million - $467 million|
|Earnings per Diluted Share||$3.40 - $3.48|
|Capital Expenditures||$230 million - $250 million|
Included in this forecast are additional expenses related to the first year of operations for the new Casa Grande, Ariz., distribution center and the continued transition of the Company's Del's stores to Tractor Supply stores. The forecast also considers the impact of the additional 53rd week in fiscal 2016. Anticipated capital expenditures include spending to support approximately 120 new store openings.
Go here to view financial tables. At December 26, 2015, Tractor Supply operated 1,488 stores in 49 states.