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Tractor Supply Hits 18-Year High as Estimates Top Forecast

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Tractor Supply Co., owner of a chain of farm-supply stores, rose to its highest level ever after Cleveland Research Co. said 2012 same-store sales and earnings may exceed the company’s own forecast.

Tractor Supply advanced 5.7 percent to $90.92 in New York, for the highest close since the company went public in February 1994. The shares have risen 30 percent this year.

Cleveland Research predicts same-store sales at the Brentwood, Tennessee-based chain will increase 7 percent in 2012, above the 3 percent to 5 percent forecast Tractor Supply gave in a February earnings statement. Cleveland Research also estimates the company will report 2012 earnings per share of $3.63, compared to Tractor Supply’s prediction of $3.38 to $3.46, according to a note obtained by Bloomberg News.

“They’re executing a terrific business,” said Peter Benedict, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in New York, who rates Tractor Supply outperform. “They continue to benefit from the early spring.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Yablon in New York at ayablon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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