Dollar General 3Q Income Climbs 50%

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) reported a sharp increase in third-quarter profit on stronger demand at its more established stores, and enjoyed a particular boost during Black Friday weekend, leading the company to lift its fiscal forecast.

The discount retailer that generally sells items for under a dollar said it earned $171 million, or 50 cents share, up 50% compared with $128.1 million, or 37 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting slightly weaker earnings of 47 cents. Revenue was $3.6 billion, up from $3.2 billion a year ago, and beating the Street’s view of $3.57 billion.

The company, which cited a same-store sales increase of 6.3% for the strong quarterly earnings, lifted its fiscal forecast to a range of $2.29 a share to $2.32, which is widely ahead of the    Street’s view of $1.82 a share.

“Dollar General delivered another great quarter, and we expect to continue to build upon our strong track record of delivering excellent results for our shareholders,” said the company’s chief executive, Rick Dreiling.

The company announced on Monday a new $500 million stock repurchase program and said it expects solid demand from the Thanksgiving weekend to kick-start momentum heading into the December shopping season.

Sales of consumable products such as snacks, packaged foods and pet supplies continue to top the list of goods sold, and the company predicts those products as well as seasonable and home categories like hardware and stationary will continue to grow.