Reuters

(Reuters)

Dollar Tree Gives Muted Outlook

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dollar Tree Inc. on Thursday gave a muted outlook for its current quarter, while saying that it expects its deal to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc. to close in July.

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For the current quarter, Dollar Tree forecast 63 cents to 68 cents a share in earnings and $2.17 billion to $2.23 billion in net sales. Analysts were projecting 70 cents a share and $2.23 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Sales fell about 3% in premarket trading.

Dollar Tree's nearly $9 billion deal to buy Family Dollar is still awaiting approval from the Federal Trade Commission. On Thursday, Dollar Tree said it is days away from reaching an agreement to sell about 330 Family Dollar stores representing $45.5 million in operating income, after which it would secure FTC approval.

Dollar Tree now expects the deal to close in early July. In April, the company had targeted a May closing date.

In the latest quarter, same-store sales rose 3.4% in the quarter on a constant-currency basis.

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"Comparable store sales grew as the result of increases in both traffic and average ticket," said Dollar Tree Chief Executive Bob Sasser. "Customers are shopping with us more often and they are buying more on each visit."

For the period ended May 2, Dollar Tree posted a profit of $69.5 million, or 34 cents a share, down from $138.3 million, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the company posted earnings of 71 cents a share.

Net sales grew 8.8% to $2.18 billion.

The company had expected 69 cents to 74 cents a share in earnings and $2.15 billion to $2.20 billion in net sales.

The company said congestion at West Coast ports delayed receipts at some of its distribution centers in the quarter.

The company also tightened its full-year outlook. For the year, Dollar Tree is now calling for $3.32 to $3.47 a share in adjusted earnings, compared with its previous guidance for $3.30 to $3.50 a share. The company is forecasting full-year sales of $9.24 billion to $9.42 billion, compared with its previous forecast for $9.21 billion to $9.45 billion.