It's been a great year for Tractor Supply (TSCO). Shares of the $6.6 billion retail chain have rallied close to 18% in the last 12 months, besting any performance the S&P 500 could turn out over that same period. Tractor Supply is a big name in niche retail, offering up everything from clothing to home and garden products, to pet care items in its 1,000 store network.
And yes, the company sells tractors too.Tractor Supply is a niche name because its target market isn't the mainstream consumer. Instead, it caters to more rural consumers who court a country lifestyle. The firm's catch-all inventory would normally looks like a liability, but in TSCO's case, the overly diverse product mix can be forgiven -- it clearly works for the firm's demographic. TSCO's store footprint is still relatively small. The company builds its locations in rural communities outlying major metropolitan areas, positioning that offers enough consumer concentration to support a store with the demographics that will want the products Tractor Supply sells. As more stores get opened, sales numbers should expand considerably. The firm's ability to finance new store builds with cash (rather than a mountain of debt) is commendable too. Home improvement sales continue to move higher in 2013, and they should keep dragging Tractor Supply higher too. To see all of this week's Rocket Stocks in action, check out the Rocket Stocks portfolio at Stockpickr.
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