Greg Sandfort, chief executive said: "Weather can influence the demand for certain products, and while we had a challenging quarter with respect to sales and margin, our business is more accurately assessed by the halves, not the quarters.
“We believe seasonal merchandise sales will improve as we move further into the spring selling season."
The group runs 1,617 agriculture equipment/rural lifestyle stores and 152 Petsense outlets across the US.
Net sales in the first three months of 2017 rose by 6.6% to US$1.56bn (from $1.47bn in the first quarter of 2016), but on a same store basis fell 2.2% versus an increase of 4.9%.
Seasonal merchandise sales and deflation had an impact while the Northern regions were most affected by the weather. Livestock and pet products were the best sellers.
Earnings in the first quarter will be between US$0.45 to US$0.46.
Shares were 5% lower at US$67 in pre-market trading.