Brentwood, Tennessee-based Tractor Supply Company has reported financial results for its first quarter ended March 26, 2022.
Among the highlights:
- Net sales increased 8.3%; Comparable store sales increased 5.2% on top of 38.6% comparable store sales growth last year
- Diluted Earnings per Share (“EPS”) increased to $1.65 from $1.55 last year
- Company reiterates Fiscal 2022 financial outlook
“The Tractor Supply team delivered strong results with another quarter of record sales and earnings despite having a difficult comparison from last year’s record sales, ongoing supply chain constraints and the Omicron surge. My thanks and appreciation go out to the 46,000 Team Members at Tractor Supply for their dedication to each other and our customers while staying nimble and successfully navigating a wide range of macro challenges. Our Team Members continue to be the key driver of our success,” said Hal Lawton, Tractor Supply’s president and CEO.
Lawton continued, “While we anticipate that we will continue to operate in a highly inflationary and volatile environment, we believe Tractor Supply is uniquely positioned for growth with a resilient, domestic business model that has stood the test of time. The strength of our business and the needs-based, demand-driven nature of our product categories complemented by our Life Out Here strategy give us confidence in our outlook and in our ability to successfully navigate the continuing challenges of the dynamic environment.”
First Quarter 2022 Results
Net sales for the first quarter 2022 increased 8.3% to $3.02 billion from $2.79 billion in the first quarter of 2021. Comparable store sales increased 5.2%, as compared to an increase of 38.6% in the prior year's first quarter. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of 2022 were driven by comparable average ticket growth of 6.7% and a decline in comparable average transaction count of 1.4%. Comparable store sales growth reflects robust demand for everyday merchandise, including consumable, usable and edible (“C.U.E.”) products and strength in winter seasonal goods, partially offset by a slower start to the spring selling season. In addition, the Company’s e-commerce sales experienced double-digit percentage growth for the 39th consecutive quarter.
Gross profit increased 7.4% to $1.06 billion from $983.8 million in the prior year's first quarter, and gross margin decreased 29 basis points to 34.9% from 35.2% in the prior year's first quarter. The company's price management actions and other margin driving initiatives were able to offset the majority of the impact from significant product cost inflation pressures and higher transportation costs. To a lesser extent, product mix from the robust growth of the company's C.U.E. products were unfavorable to gross margin.
Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses, including depreciation and amortization, increased 7.8% to $812.2 million from $753.2 million in the prior year's first quarter. As a percent of net sales, SG&A expenses improved 11 basis points to 26.9% from 27.0% in the first quarter of 2021. The improvement in SG&A as a percent of net sales was primarily attributable to more normalized incentive compensation and a moderation of COVID-19 response costs, as well as leverage in occupancy and other costs from the increase in comparable store sales. These items were partially offset by investments in store wages and the Company’s strategic growth investments.
Operating income increased 6.0% to $244.3 million compared to $230.5 million in the first quarter of 2021.
The effective income tax rate was 21.1% compared to 18.8% in the first quarter of 2021. The first quarter of 2021 tax rate included a discrete incremental tax benefit associated with share-based compensation that did not reoccur at the same magnitude this year.
Net income increased 3.2% to $187.2 million from $181.4 million, and diluted EPS increased 6.5% to $1.65 from $1.55 in the first quarter of 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, the company repurchased approximately 1.4 million shares of its common stock for $296.2 million and paid quarterly cash dividends totaling $103.5 million, returning approximately $399.6 million of capital to shareholders in the first quarter of 2022.
Tractor Supply new store openings were delayed during the quarter by lingering impacts from the pandemic and challenges facing the construction industry. The company continues to target opening approximately 75 to 80 new Tractor Supply stores in fiscal 2022.
Fiscal 2022 Financial Outlook
The company confirmed its fiscal 2022 financial guidance, initially provided on January 27, 2022. Fiscal 2022 comprises 53 weeks, one additional week compared to fiscal 2021. The benefit of the 53rd week is included in the fiscal 2022 guidance and is estimated to be worth approximately 1.5 percentage points of net sales and approximately $0.15 contribution to diluted EPS.
For fiscal 2022, the Company continues to expect the following:
The company’s outlook for fiscal 2022 does not contemplate the impact of the pending acquisition of Orscheln Farm and Home previously announced on Feb. 17, 2021. The acquisition is conditioned on the receipt of regulatory clearance and satisfactory completion of customary closing conditions. The company continues to work collaboratively with the Federal Trade Commission on the transaction.