Dollar General Profit Up, Revises 2013 Guidance


GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Dollar General's fiscal first-quarter net income increased 3 percent as more customers visited its stores and shoppers spent more per transaction.

But the discounter cut the high end of its full-year adjusted earnings and revenue forecasts to account for moderating sales growth and a lower-than-expected gross profit rate.

For the period ended May 3, Dollar General Corp. earned $220.1 million, or 67 cents per share. That compares with $213.4 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

Removing debt refinancing costs and other items, earnings were 71 cents per share. This met the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $4.23 billion from $3.9 billion. Wall Street was looking for $4.24 billion in revenue.

Dollar General said that sales of consumables like groceries were much better than non-consumables such as seasonal products and home items due to bad weather and financial pressures – including a payroll tax increase – that many consumers are faced with.

Gross profit – a measure of how much of each dollar of revenue a retailer gets to keep – declined in the quarter because of factors such as increased markdowns and a higher mix of lower-margin consumables.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, climbed 2.6 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The company now anticipates fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.15 to $3.22 per share, with revenue up 10 percent to 11 percent. It previously predicted adjusted earnings of $3.15 to $3.30 per share and a revenue increase of 10 percent to 12 percent.

The revised guidance implies revenue of $17.62 billion to $17.79 billion, based on 2012's $16.02 billion.

Analysts expect full-year earnings of $3.28 per share on revenue of $17.7 billion.

The stock dropped $4.01, or 7.5 percent, to $49.53 in midday trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $39.73 to $56.04.

Dollar General had 10,662 stores in 40 states at quarter's end.

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