Dollar Tree Shares Tick Higher on Surprise 4Q

By RetailFOXBusiness

Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DTLR) posted a fourth-quarter beat on the top and bottom lines on Wednesday as consumers bought more items at the discount store amid the still weak economy.

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The Chesapeake, Va.-based dollar-store operator reported net income of $228.6 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $187.9 million, or 80 cents.

The results trumped average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by two pennies.

Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 2 grew 15.4% to $2.25 billion from $1.95 billion a year ago, topping the Street’s view of $2.23 billion.

Shares of Dollar Tree edged up 6% to $43.54 early Wednesday following the results.

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“On top of a very strong fourth quarter performance in 2011, average basket size increased and customers responded this year in record numbers,” said Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser.

Same-store sales, a key grow metric that measures sales at stores open longer than a year, increased 2.4%, on top of a 7.3% rise in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Looking toward the first quarter, Dollar Tree sees sales in the range of $1.84 billion to $1.89 billion on earnings between 53 cents and 58 cents. The consensus is calling for current-quarter EPS of 58 cents on sales of $1.87 billion.

For the full year, the discount retail store is expecting sales between $7.79 billion and $7.97 billion, bracketing the Street’s view of $7.90 billion, and EPS of $2.54 to $2.74, which is below current estimates of $2.81 a share.

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