Dollar General Corp.'s (NYSE: DG) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose a higher-than-expected 14 percent as the chain continues to attract cost-conscious shoppers.
The company reported net income of $237.3 million, or $0.74 per share, versus $208 million, or $0.62 per share, in the same period last year, beating analyst's estimates of $0.70. Net sales for the company came in at $4.38 billion in the quarter, up 10.5 percent, versus $3.96 billion in the year-ago period.
Comp-store sales, those open at least a year, rose a healthy 4.4 percent across the chain as customer traffic and average transaction amounts both increased.
"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, in the earnings statement.
Categories that saw strong sales in the quarter include consumables, which rose 12 percent, with notable growth in tobacco products, perishables, candy and snacks. Seasonal and home products were also key to Dollar General's performance in the quarter, while apparel sales lagged due to reduced inventories in over 4,000 stores.
Looking ahead, the company slightly raised the lower end of its earnings guidance range for fiscal 2013, now seeing 10 percent to 10.5 percent growth, from its previous estimate of 10 percent to 11 percent.
Shares closed Wednesday, Dec. 4 at $56.37 and were up 1.1 percent in premarket trading on Thursday. As of the close, the stock was up 28 percent year to date.
For more see:
This Dollar General press release
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