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We expect Tractor Supply Company (TSCO - Analyst Report), a leading retail firm and ranch store retailer, to beat expectations when it reports first-quarter 2013 results on Apr 24.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Tractor Supply may beat the earnings because it has the right combination of two key components.

Positive Zacks ESP: Tractor Supply currently has an Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) of +1.61%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at 63 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 62 cents.

Zacks #2 Rank (Buy): Note that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1, 2 and 3 have higher chances of beating the earnings. The Sell rated stocks (#4 and 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Tractor Supply’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Earnings ESP of +1.61% makes us confident of a positive earnings beat on Apr 24.

What is Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

The company has been revamping itself by concentrating on square footage growth and the maximization of productivity from its existing store base. In addition, Tractor Supply has implemented significant changes in its store operations to make them simpler and more customer-friendly. We believe these initiatives will induce more traffic to its stores while boosting its top line.

The company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with an average surprise of approximately 4.2%.

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