Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) beat revenue and earnings estimates for the fourth quarter of 2019. Despite the beat, shares were down 1.6% in premarket hours on Thursday.
Net sales of $7.16 billion were up 7.6% from the same period last year and ahead of consensus estimates of $7.15 billion. The topline results were driven by same-store sales growth and positive sales contributions from new stores.
Net income was $535.4 million compared to $483.2 million last year. EPS rose 14.1% to $2.10, beating forecasts of $2.01.
Same-store sales increased 3.2%, fueled by increases in customer traffic and average transaction amount. During the quarter, the company saw growth in its consumables, apparel, home and seasonal product categories. At quarter-end, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $4.7 billion, reflecting an increase of around 7.8% on a per-store basis.
For fiscal year 2020, Dollar General expects net sales to grow 7.5% to 8% and same store sales to grow 2.5% to 3%. GAAP EPS is estimated to grow approx. 11.5% and adjusted EPS is estimated to grow 10%.
The EPS guidance includes the impact of previously implemented tariffs and does not reflect any additional tariff hikes. The company also does not expect the supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak to have a material impact on its fiscal 2020 results.
The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.36 per common share, representing a 12.5% increase over the previous dividend, payable on or before April 21, 2020 to shareholders of record on April 7, 2020.
Dollar General plans to implement approx. 2,600 real estate projects in fiscal year 2020, including 1,000 new store openings, 1,500 mature store remodels, and 80 store relocations.
Earlier this month, the retailer expanded its footprint to 45 states with the opening of its first store in Wyoming. The company also plans to expand its store and distribution center network in fiscal year 2020, creating 8,000 positions in the process.
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