Dollar General returns to profit in 3Q

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 8:58 AM

Dollar General Corp. said Thursday it returned to a profit in its third quarter on increased sales as the prior-year period was weighed down by a lawsuit settlement.

The discount store chain earned $75.6 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $7.3 million, or 2 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. The performance narrowly missed the 25 cents-per-share profit analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected. These estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The prior year's results included a $37.4 million lawsuit settlement and related costs.

Sales for the three months ended Oct. 30 improved to $2.93 billion from $2.6 billion, surpassing Wall Street's $2.88 billion estimate. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 9.2 percent on better traffic and an increase in the average transaction amount.

This figure is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

Dollar General said it plans to open about 600 new stores next year and remodel or relocate approximately 500 stores. The retailer operates more than 8,700 stores in 35 states.

In premarket trading, shares of Dollar General edged up 88 cents to $24.88.