Dollar General a Bright Spot in Retail

Print Email

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $1.03 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.61 billion in revenue, compare with consensus estimates that called for $1.00 in EPS and revenue of $5.59 billion. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $1.03 and $5.27 billion in revenue.

In the quarter, net sales increased 6.5%, while same-store sales increased 0.7% primarily due to an increase in average transaction amount, partially offset by a decline in traffic. Same-store sales were driven by positive results in the consumables and apparel categories, partially offset by negative results in the home and seasonal categories. The net sales increase also was positively affected by sales from new stores, partially offset by sales from closed stores.

Back in April 2017, the Federal Trade Commission approved the company’s proposed purchase of 322 store locations in 36 states from a small-box multi–price point retailer. The transaction is expected to close during June 2017, and then they be converted to Dollar General stores by November 2017.

For the coming fiscal year, and including the anticipated closing of its acquisition, Dollar General expects to see EPS in the range of $4.25 to $4.50 and revenues growing between 5% and 7%. The consensus estimates are $4.45 in EPS and $23.19 billion in revenue for the year.

On the books, Dollar General’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $205.98 million at the end of the quarter, up from $187.92 million in the same period last year.

Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, commented:

For the first quarter of 2017, I am pleased with our earnings results which reflect solid management of the business in a difficult retail environment as we overcame our most challenging comparisons from the prior year. Our same-store sales improved as we moved past the delay in income tax refunds and the timing shift of the later Easter holiday. We continue to execute on our focused strategy and implement our operating initiatives which we believe will improve customer traffic and transactions.

Shares of Dollar General closed Wednesday at $73.39, with a consensus analyst price target of $79.80 and a 52-week range of $66.50 to $96.88. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 2.8% at $75.45 in early trading indications Thursday.