Family Dollar Earnings Take Back Seat to Pending Merger With Dollar Tree

Family Dollar Store
Source: Family Dollar Store Inc.
Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) reported second-quarter fiscal 2015 results before markets opened Wednesday. The discount retailer reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.74 on revenues of $2.8 billion. In the same period a year ago, Family Dollar Stores reported EPS of $0.80 on revenue of $2.72 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.73 and $2.8 billion in revenue.

Second-quarter results are not as important as Tuesday’s statement from Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) that its proposed merger with Family Dollar is now expected to close in May. In a filing with the SEC, Dollar Tree said:

As of April 1, 2015, the FTC’s staff has substantially completed its review and identified approximately 340 stores for divestiture, representing approximately $47.4 million of operating income. The Company expects that all or almost all of the stores that will be divested will be Family Dollar stores.

Adjusted operating income for Family Dollar in the second quarter totaled $117.5 million. Divestitures related to the merger with Dollar Tree will wipe out more than a third of that.

Same-store sales rose 0.5% in the first quarter, which Family Dollar attributed to a rise in transactions partially offset by a decrease in average transaction value. Second-quarter sales were driven once again by consumables such as refrigerated items, frozen foods and tobacco that accounted for 72.3% of Family Dollar’s total net sales.

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The company’s CEO said:

Our comparable store sales and customer traffic trends are improving, and we are beginning to see stabilization in key categories. While our trends in late-February were adversely impacted by severe winter weather, our sales trends in March rebounded nicely, reflecting both improved traffic trends and the benefit of an earlier Easter. We are excited about the pending merger with Dollar Tree, and our teams are working to ensure a successful integration.

Shares traded down about 0.2% in premarket trading Wednesday, at $79.00 in a 52-week range of $55.64 to $80.97. The Dollar Tree offer for Family Dollar works out to $74.50 per share in cash and stock.