Earnings wrap: Tractor Supply, Franklin Synergy

Shares of farm/ranch retailer pop after hours; mortgages drive Williamson bank's strong numbers

Tractor Supply beat expectations for its fourth fiscal quarter by reporting $79.5 million in profits, an increase of almost 13 percent from the year before. Revenues at the farm and ranch products retailer rose almost 4 percent to $1.29 billion.

Per diluted share, Tractor Supply reported profits of $1.11, a good bit better than the $1.03 analysts had been expecting. Operating margins rose 70 basis points from late 2011 to 9.7 percent, helped primarily by a lower cost of goods.

The earnings report lifted shares of Brentwood-based Tractor Supply (Ticker: TSCO) almost 6 percent to $100, the first time they have traded in triple digits since early October. The move lifted the company's market capitalization back above $7 billion.

"Our ability to plan, prepare, execute and react quickly to the trends we are seeing in our business allowed us to deliver our 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year transaction count increases," said President and CEO Greg Sandfort. "Our team executed exceptionally well, delivering a strong same-store sales gain of 4.7 percent on top of last year's strong 7.6 percent comp increase, managing through less than ideal weather conditions for sales of cold weather products and despite less benefit from inflation than last year."

 
Also posting a strong Q4 was Franklin Synergy Bank, for which net income came in at $1.6 million, up 45 percent from the last three months of 2011. The main driver of the bank's growth last year — assets ended the year at $577 million, up 24 percent from 12 months earlier — was the production of mortgages, which rose 82 percent year over year.

President Richard Herrington said his team's five-year-old bank begins 2013 "in a significantly strengthened position" after posting its 16th consecutive quarterly profit. The company is adding locations in Berry Farms and Spring Hill while also building out its headquarters.