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Dollar General Earnings Exceed Wall Street Expectations

For the third quarter ended November 2, Dollar General Corp. announced that net income reached $208 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, versus $171 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, in the 2011 period. Adjusted net income in the quarter, excepting one-time charges, was $209.5 million, or 63 cents per diluted share.

Earnings per share beat an analyst average estimate of 60 cents compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Operating profit increased by 16% to 9.1% of sales in the 2012 third quarter versus 8.6% in the period last year.

Sales advanced 10.3% to $3.96 billion in the third quarter while comparable store sales increased 4%.

An increase in customer traffic and average transaction contributed to third quarter sales growth, the retailer said. Consumables sales continued to increase at a higher rate than non-consumables, it added, with the most significant growth in candy and snacks, and perishables offerings. Still, sales growth in home and seasonal categories, as well as certain basic apparel departments, was robust, while hanging apparel sales were generally weak.

“Dollar General delivered another solid quarter, and we expect to continue building on our strong track record of success,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “Our same-store sales increased 4%, on top of a 6.3% improvement in the third quarter of 2011 for a two-year stack of 10.3%. We had great financial performance across key metrics. Based on these results, we are now forecasting our full-year adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.82 to $2.85.”