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Retailer Tractor Supply boosts 3Q profit, revenue

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Tractor Supply Co. said Wednesday that third-quarter profit rose 17 percent on strong sales of pet- and animal-related merchandise at its farm stores.

The company raised its forecasts for 2012 earnings and revenue but not as high as analysts expected, and the shares fell in late trading.

Tractor Supply said it expected to earn between $3.63 and $3.69 per share this year, compared with a previous prediction of $3.58 to $3.66 per share. Analysts were expecting $3.72 per share, according to FactSet.

And the company narrowed its 2012 revenue outlook to between $4.61 billion and $4.65 billion. It had been $4.58 billion to $4.65 billion. Analysts estimated $4.67 billion.

The shares fell a penny during regular trading to close at $95.16. In after-hours trading, they lost $3.16, or 3.3 percent, to $92.

Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 29 was $50 million, or 69 cents per share, compared with $42.7 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected 67 cents.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $1.07 billion, matching analysts' forecast.

Sales at locations open at least a year, a key figure of retailing performance, rose 2.9 percent after jumping 11.5 percent in the same quarter last year. The chain opened 17 stores and closed one during the quarter.