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Tractor Supply Q3 profit up 39%

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Brentwood, Tenn. Tractor Supply Co. said Wednesday its third-quarter profit rose 39% as sales increased slightly and it improved its gross margin.

It earned $22 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 26, up from $15.9 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2% to $747.7 million from $733.9 million. Analysts had expected $749 million. Its gross margin rose to 32.9% of sales, compared with 29.8% in the prior year's third quarter.

Same-store sales fell 5.1% during the quarter due to weak demand for seasonal big-ticket items, the company said.