Dollar General 4Q Profit, Outlook Fall Below Expectations

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) revealed slightly disappointing fourth-quarter earnings early Monday and announced the retirement of its long-time general counsel.

The retailer also forecast fiscal 2013 sales growth of 10% to 12% on adjusted EPS of $3.15 to $3.30, the midpoint of which is below the consensus view of $3.27 a share.

Shares of Dollar General slumped 1.5% premarket to $49.30.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer reported net income of $317 million, or 97 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $293 million, or 85 cents.

Adjusted for one-time items, Dollar General earned 87 cents, narrowly below average analyst estimates of 90 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 1 grew 0.5% to $4.21 billion from $4.19 billion a year ago, narrowly missing the Street’s view $4.26 billion. Sales included an extra week compared with the year-earlier period.

Same-store sales, a key measurement of sales at stores open longer than a year, increased 3%, driven primarily by robust demand for consumables that boosted average transaction costs.

“We grew our market share and invested strategically to continue to win with our customers," said Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling. “These results demonstrate the strength of our business strategy, and we believe we are very well-positioned for future growth.”

Separately, the company announced that executive vice president and general counsel, Susan Lanigan, has decided to retire later this year after nearly 11 years with the company. She has served as general counsel since joining Dollar General in 2003.

The discount retailer says it has started a search for a successor and will consider both internal and external candidates.