Despite Gains, Dollar Tree Earnings Fall Short Of Expectations

For the third quarter ended November 2, Dollar Tree, Inc. posted net income of $125.4 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, versus $155.4 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Comparable store sales increased 3.1% while consolidated net sales advanced 9.5% to $1.88 billion for the quarter ended October 27, 2012.

Third quarter earnings fell two cents short of published analyst average estimates.

Results from last year’s third quarter included a one-time gain of 17 cents per diluted share relating to the dollar store operator’s sale of its ownership interest in Ollie’s Holdings, Inc.

Operating income in the third quarter was $204.3 million versus $184.2 million in the prior-year period, the company stated, as operating margin increased 10 basis points to 10.8%.

“I am pleased with our performance in the third quarter,” Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said in comments on the financial results. “During a very cautious consumer environment, comparable-store sales increased as the result of growth in both consumer basics and growth in seasonal and variety merchandise, with our higher margin variety categories growing at a faster pace. Our comparable-store sales increase was driven principally by increased customer traffic, as new customers are finding Dollar Tree to be part of their solution to balance their household budgets. Our stores executed a quick transition from Halloween and are set with fresh, high-value merchandise for Thanksgiving and the Holiday season.”

In the third quarter, Dollar Tree opened 117 stores, expanded or relocated 19, and closed six.