FINANCE

Rite Aid same-store sales rise 1.8% in January

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. – For the four-week period ended Jan. 25, Rite Aid’s same-store sales grew 1.8%. Front-end same-store sales decreased 1.3%, attributable to a decrease in flu-related over-the-counter drug sales.

Total drug sales for the month increased 1.5% to $1.94 billion, compared to $1.91 billion in the same period a year earlier.

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FINANCE

Tractor Supply sees net income, sales rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brentwood, Tenn. – Tractor Supply Company reported increased net income and sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, compared to the same periods a year earlier. Net income grew 18.7% to $328.2 million from $276.5 million for the full fiscal year, and 21% to $95.9 million from $79.5 million for the fourth quarter.

Net sales increased 10.7% to $5.16 billion from $4.66 billion in fiscal 2012 and increased 10% to $1.42 billion, from $1.29 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Same-store sales grew 4.8% during the year and 3.5% during the quarter. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter were driven by continued strong results in key consumable, usable and edible (C.U.E.) products, principally animal- and pet-related merchandise. Seasonal items, predominantly heating and insulated outerwear, also performed well due to the cold weather in the latter part of the quarter.

The company anticipates net sales for fiscal 2014 will range between $5.62 billion and $5.70 billion, with same-store sales expected to increase 2.5% to 4%. Tractor Supply projects fiscal 2014 full year net income to range from $2.54 to $2.62 per diluted share. For the full year, the retailer expects 102 to 106 new store openings and construction of the new store support center to open in 2014.

“We are very pleased with our strong fourth quarter and full-year results,” said Greg Sandfort, president and CEO. “The fourth quarter marked our 17th consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales and our 23rd consecutive quarter of positive comparable transaction counts. In recent years, we have grown our business effectively despite challenging economic environments and volatile weather trends. We believe our results are a function of the balanced approach we take to run our business, through managing sales, margins, expenses and capital investments.”

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FINANCE

Net loss grows on lower sales at The Pantry

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. – The Pantry, Inc. reported a net loss of $5.1 million in its first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from a net loss of $3.1 million the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. Revenues fell 5% to $1.8 billion from $1.9 billion, although same-store sales rose 3.5%.

"We gained further momentum in merchandise sales during the first quarter as same-store sales grew 3.5%, our strongest result since the third quarter of fiscal year 2012,” said Dennis G. Hatchell, president and CEO of The Pantry. “Our 4.1% increase in sales per customer drove this growth as inside customer traffic levels stabilized. These encouraging results were supported by continued progress upgrading our store base. During the first quarter we opened one new store, completed 28 remodels and added four new QSRs.”

In addition, the board of directors of The Pantry nominated a new independent director, Thomas W. “Tad” Dickson, former CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., for election to the board at the company’s 2014 Annual Meeting to be held in March 2014.

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