Shares of Tractor Supply Company (TSCO - Free Report) have gained 18.1% year to date, thanks to its robust strategic endeavors. In a bid to boost its omni-channel capabilities, the company has been steadily focusing on its store expansion initiatives, technological advancements and loyalty program. In the same time frame, the industry rallied 7.2%.
Let’s Take a Closer Look
Given the changing consumer trends, Tractor Supply is focused on integrating its physical and digital operations through the ONETractor initiative. This strategy aims at driving overall growth, building customer-centric engagement, offering suitable products and services, and reinforcing core infrastructure capabilities. In addition, the company is reaping benefits from capabilities like Stockyard Kiosk and mobile point-of-sale, enhancement of the Tractor Supply credit card offering, and investments in the supply chain. Tractor Supply’s Buy Online Pick Up in Store and direct delivery to store facilities are added positives.
In third-quarter 2019, the company reported double-digit e-commerce sales growth for the 29th straight quarter. Meanwhile, Tractor Supply’s robust Neighbor’s Club loyalty program has been bolstering membership growth, increased penetration of sales and higher average ticket sales by these customers. Management expects all these strategies to play a major role in boosting the company’s top line.
Coming to store-growth efforts, Tractor Supply is well poised to expand its domestic store count to 2,500 in the long term. In the first nine months of 2019, it opened 50 namesake and three Petsense stores, while shuttered one namesake and two Petsense outlets. In 2019, the company expects to open about 80 namesake and 10 Petsense stores. Petsense stores remain focused on building long-term customer loyalty by using digital marketing methods, revamping the website and enhancing customer rewards program. Store expansion is likely to keep Tractor Supply’s sales momentum alive throughout 2019 and beyond.
Though Tractor Supply is focused on enhancing business via omni-channel initiatives, increased spending in infrastructure and technology is concerning. Notably, SG&A expenses, including depreciation and amortization, rose 6.5% in the third quarter along with 26 basis points increase as a percentage of sales. This increase can be mainly attributed to incremental costs related to its new distribution facility in Frankfurt, NY, and an executive transition agreement along with a slight impact of investments in wages of store team members.
Nevertheless, Tractor Supply’s positive comparable store sales (comps) driven by strategic efforts and improved traffic along with enhanced margins are likely to consistently aid its performance. Additionally, growth across all geographic regions and strength in everyday merchandise including consumable, usable and edible products remain strengths.
Encouragingly, Tractor Supply now projects net sales of $8.40-$8.42 billion for the current year, with comps growth of 3.2-3.4%. Adjusted earnings are anticipated to be $4.68-$4.72 for 2019. The guided outlook suggests growth from sales of $7.91 billion and earnings per share of $4.31, registered in 2018. Further, a VGM Score of B coupled with an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.1% highlights this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock’s inherent prospects.
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