US-based retail farm and ranch store chain Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) has reported a rise in its third fiscal quarter net income to $50.02m, compared to $42.73m for the same fiscal quarter in 2011.

The company’s net sales totaled $1.07bn for the third quarter 2012, as against $977.78m in the corresponding period for the previous year.

TSCO’s gross margin for the quarter was $357.2m, an increase of 9% from $327.6m in the same quarter for the prior year.

The company noted that the gross margin rate was favourably impacted by sales mix, as the company sold a reduced percentage of low margin, big ticket products than in the previous year.

During the Q3 2012, the company opened 17 new stores and closed one store, compared to 12 new store openings and one store closure in the prior year’s third quarter.

TSCO has posted a 12.9% rise in net sales to $3.38bn for the first nine months of 2011, compared to $2.99bn for the same period a year ago.

The net income during the period amounted to $197m while same-store sales increased 5.5% compared to an 8.5% increase in the first nine months of 2011.

The company opened 68 new stores and closed two stores in the first nine months of 2012.

The company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: equine, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; hardware, truck, towing and tool products; seasonal products, including lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys.

TSCO also offers maintenance products for agricultural and rural use and work/recreational clothing and footwear.

As of 29 September 2012, Tractor Supply operated 1,151 stores in 45 US states.