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Dollar General Beats Estimate, With ‘Solid Performance’

For the 13 weeks ended November 1, Dollar General Corp. posted net income of $237 million versus $208 million in the 2012 period as earnings per diluted share came in at 74 cents versus 62 cents in the year-prior timeframe. Adjusted net income, according to the company, was $231 million versus $210 million in the 2012 quarter with adjusted EPS of 72 cents per diluted share versus 63 cents.

A Zacks Consensus Estimate of financial analysts called for EPS of 70 cents.

Comparable store sales gained 4.4% in the quarter year over year, with both customer traffic and average transaction value advancing, the company reported. Third quarter net sales increased 10.5% to $4.38 billion versus the 2012 period, the company noted, with consumables sales continuing to gain at a higher rate than non-consumables. Comps were solid in seasonal and home products, the company related, while third quarter apparel sales felt the impact of a planned merchandising initiative that reduced apparel inventories in more than 4,000 stores. Posted operating income slipped slightly as a percentage of sales but increased in dollar terms to $390.2 million from $361.4 million in last year’s third quarter.

“Dollar General once again delivered strong results in the third quarter, even in the face of an ongoing challenging consumer environment,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “Our merchandising initiatives have continued to be successful in driving traffic and sales. We had solid financial performance across key metrics, including better than anticipated gross margin performance and solid SG&A leverage.“

Dollar General operated 11,061 stores in 40 states as of November 1, the company stated.