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VOL. 129 | NO. 51 | Friday, March 14, 2014

Dollar General Fiscal Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises

AP

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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dollar General's profit during the fourth-quarter was curtailed by harsh winter storms that have affected the entire retail sector, but it also issued a weak outlook for this year and shares slipped in premarket trading.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Dollar General earned $322.2 million, or $1.01 per share, up from $317.4 million, or 97 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. Revenue increased 7 percent to $4.49 billion from $4.21 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.01 per share on $4.62 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The weather led to a number of days where stores could not open, the company said Thursday, but it also cited tough competition and ongoing uncertainty about consumer spending.

Those issues going forward were more worrisome, and Dollar General said it expected annual earnings this year of between $3.45 and $3.55 per share. That's short of the $3.69 that analysts had been expecting, according to a poll by FactSet.

Sales, the company said, should rise by 8 percent to 9 percent. Based on the company's fiscal 2013 results, the guidance implies 2014 sales of $18.9 billion to $19.08 billion. That's also shy of the $19.29 billion in revenue that analysts were projecting.

For all of 2013, Dollar general earned $1.03 billion, or $3.17 per share, up from $952.7 million, or $2.85 per share, the year before. Revenue rose to $17.5 billion from $16.02 billion.

Comparable-store sales rose 1.3 percent in 2013 and the company expects that key metric to 3 percent to 4 percent this year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PROPERTY SALES 86 313 4,762
MORTGAGES 97 409 6,640
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 34 147 1,475
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