Discount retailer Dollar General (DG) reported a 38% jump in earnings for the second quarter helped by contributions from its mature store base and robust performance of its new stores. The top and bottom line came in above analysts’ expectations. As expected, Dollar General repeated the bullish trends set by its rivals including TJX Companies (TJX), Ross Stores (ROST) and Kohl’s (KSS), all reported stellar results.
The stock is down about 2% in the pre-market session as investors were concerned about the raised top-line guidance not being carried over to the bottom line, which remained unchanged.
Earnings for the quarter climbed by 38% to $407.2 million or $1.52 per share. Net sales grew by 10.6% to $6.4 billion, aided by the sales contribution from new stores and growth in same-store sales despite the impact of store closures.
Same-store sales increased 3.7% from the prior-year period driven by an increase in average transaction amount and customer traffic. Growth in same-store sales was driven by positive results in the consumables, seasonal and apparel categories, partially offset by sales declines in the home category.
The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.29 per share on its common stock. The dividend is payable on or before October 23, 2018, to shareholders of record on October 9, 2018.
Looking ahead into the fiscal year 2018, Dollar General raised its net sales growth outlook to the range of 9% to $9.3% from prior estimate of about 9%, and its same-store sales growth forecast to the mid-to-high 2% range from the prior estimate of mid-2% range. Diluted EPS is still expected to be in the range of $5.95 to $6.15.
In addition, the company still predicts share repurchases for the full year to be about $850 million, and capital expenditures to be in the range of $725 million to $800 million. Dollar General reiterated its plans to open about 900 new stores, remodel 1,000 stores and relocate 100 stores in the fiscal year 2018.
Shares of Dollar General ended Wednesday’s regular session down 0.13% at $106.70 on the NYSE. The stock had surged 39% in the past year and more than 14% year-to-date.
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