Shares of Tractor Supply Co. rose more than 2% late Wednesday after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings and sales in line with Wall Street expectations. Tractor Supply said it earned $60.3 million, or 46 cents, in the quarter, compared with $67.7 million, or 50 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2016. Net sales for the quarter increased 6.6% to $1.56 billion, from $1.47 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable-store sales decreased 2.2%, versus an increase of 4.9% (or 2.6% if adjusted for an extra week in the retailer's fiscal 2017) a year ago. The company became the latest to blame the weather for some of its shortcomings. "Due to the challenging weather conditions, we were unable to offset the strong seasonal performance from last year's first quarter. As the weather has normalized over the past few weeks, we are encouraged with how the customer has responded and believe there is significant spring business ahead of us," CEO Greg Sandfort said in a statement. Shares of Tractor Supply had ended the regular trading session up 0.5%.
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