BRENTWOOD, Tenn., January 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States, today provided a business update for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2011.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 20.1% to $1.24 billion from $1.03 billion in the prior year's fourth quarter. The fourth quarter included an extra sales week as part of the company's 53-week calendar in 2011, which benefited fourth quarter sales by approximately 6.6%. 

Same-store sales increased 7.6% compared to a 13.1% increase in the prior-year period. The 7.6% increase includes an estimated 110 basis point benefit from one additional comparable sales day in the fourth quarter of 2011 vs. last year. 

The company now anticipates annual net income to range from $2.97 to $2.99 per diluted share compared to its previous guidance of $2.85 to $2.89 per diluted share. Tractor Supply estimates that the 53rd week in 2011 represented a benefit of approximately $0.09 per diluted share compared to the previously indicated range of $0.05 to $0.06 per diluted share.

Jim Wright, chairman and CEO, said, "While we are still in the early stages of the year-end financial closing process, we felt it was important to provide an update on expected results given such strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2011. These results are reflective of the structural improvements we have made to our business in recent years, including a focus on C.U.E. merchandise, improved inventory management and merchandise allocation and regionalization, all of which have continued to reduce our dependence on weather trends. Sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 was driven by continued strong transaction count and a year-over-year increase in average ticket, with added tailwinds from both the 53rd week and inflation. We are very pleased that we have maintained the momentum in our business and are confident in our ability to deliver continued profitable growth."

The company plans to release its full fourth quarter 2011 results after the market close on Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

About Tractor Supply Co.

At December 31, 2011, Tractor Supply Co. operated 1,085 stores in 44 states. The company's stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers.  The company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities.  The company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use; and (5) work/recreational clothing and footwear.