Are Dollar General Earnings Enough to Weather This Storm?

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) reported its most recent financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The discount chain said that it had $2.10 in earnings per share (EPS) and $7.20 billion in revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter, which compares with consensus estimates of $2.01 in EPS and $7.15 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.84 in EPS and $6.65 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, Dollar General net sales increased 7.6% year over year. This net sales increase included positive sales contributions from new stores and growth in same-store sales, modestly offset by the impact of store closures.

At the same time, same-store sales increased 3.2%, driven by increases in both average transaction amount and customer traffic. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter included growth in the consumables, seasonal, home and apparel categories.

Looking ahead to the 2020 fiscal full year, the company expects to see EPS growth of roughly 11.5%, net sales growing roughly 7.5% to 8.0%, and same-store sales increasing in the 2.5% to 3.0% range. Consensus estimates call for $7.43 in EPS and $29.88 billion in revenue.

Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, commented:

We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results, capping off a strong year of performance across the Company. Our full-year results were highlighted by double-digit diluted EPS growth, as well as our 30th consecutive year of same-store sales growth. During the fourth quarter, we delivered a healthy 3.2% increase in same-store sales, as well as strong margin performance. In addition, we executed well across many fronts, including our operating priorities and strategic initiatives.

Dollar General stock traded down fractionally early Thursday at $157.07, in a 52-week range of $108.74 to $167.44. The consensus price target is $173.91.