GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. turned in a robust performance for its fiscal 2010 first quarter, posting a double-digit sales gain and besting Wall Street’s and its own earnings expectations.
Dollar General Corp. turned in a robust performance for its fiscal 2010 first quarter, posting a double-digit sales gain and besting Wall Street’s and its own earnings expectations.
The deep discount retailer said Tuesday that sales for the 13 weeks ended April 30 rose 11.9% to $3.11 billion from $2.78 billion a year earlier.
Same-store sales climbed 6.7% in the 2010 first quarter, with customer traffic and the average transaction size fueling the increase, according to Dollar General, which added that business was strongest in the consumables and seasonal categories.
Net earnings in the 2010 first quarter totaled $136 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, up 64% from $83 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the prior-year period.
The average analyst estimate was 34 cents per share, with the earnings forecast ranging from a low of 32 cents to a high of 37 cents, according to Thomson Financial.
Excluding items totaling about $15 million related to a secondary offering of common stock by certain shareholders during the 2010 first quarter, adjusted net income jumped 75% to $145.4 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, Dollar General noted.
In addition, the retailer said adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased 24% in the first quarter to $360 million.
"Dollar General’s first-quarter performance marks a great start to the year. Our first-quarter sales were ahead of our expectations. Our same-store sales growth of 6.7% for the quarter was on top of 13.3% growth in the first quarter of 2009," chairman and chief executive officer Rick Dreiling said in a statement.
"We generated these positive results by continuing to provide our customers with a convenient shopping experience at everyday low prices," he added. "Our strong first-quarter results, coupled with our consistent track record, give us confidence to raise our full-year outlook for 2010."
Dollar General now forecasts fiscal 2010 adjusted earnings per diluted share at $1.62 to $1.69, up from its previous estimate of $1.55 to $1.63 per share. The average analyst estimate is for earnings of $1.63 per share.
During the first quarter, Dollar General opened 155 new stores and relocated or remodeled 128 stores. As of April 30, the discount chain had 8,965 stores in 35 states.
Plans call for the retailer to open about 600 new stores and remodel or relocate 500 stores in 2010.
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