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Dollar General is having a great year
Dec '10
Dollar General Corporation reported financial results for its fiscal 2010 third quarter (13 weeks) ended October 29, 2010. Net income was $128 million, or diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.37. Excluding a net loss of $8 million ($5 million after income taxes) relating to the early repayment of certain long-term obligations, net income for the 2010 third quarter was $133 million, or diluted EPS of $0.39, a 76 percent increase over net income of $76 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the third quarter (13 weeks) of fiscal 2009.

"Dollar General is having a great year. We are executing our plans and delivering excellent performance for our shareholders. Even as the macroeconomic environment continues to be volatile for our customers, our strong results are top-tier among retailers. As a result, we are raising our full year adjusted earnings per share guidance to the range of $1.78 to $1.81," said Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer.

"I am pleased with our Thanksgiving week sales and our outlook for the fourth quarter," said Dreiling. "Our operating priorities for the balance of 2010 and beyond will allow us to capture sustainable growth opportunities as we continue to focus on driving productive sales growth, increasing gross margin, leveraging process improvements to reduce costs and strengthening and expanding Dollar General's culture of serving others."

Third Quarter 2010 Financial Results

Net sales increased 10.1 percent to $3.22 billion in the 2010 third quarter compared to $2.93 billion in the 2009 third quarter. Same-store sales increased 4.2 percent in the 2010 quarter and 9.2 percent in the 2009 quarter, with customer traffic and average transaction amounts contributing to the same-store sales increases in both periods.

The 2010 gross profit rate increased by 51 basis points to 31.4 percent of sales from 30.8 percent of sales in the 2009 period. The gross profit rate increase was driven by the Company's efforts to reduce merchandise purchase costs while maintaining everyday low prices. These efforts resulted primarily in higher purchase markups, partially offset by increased markdowns. Increased sales volumes, as well as increased sales of higher margin private brands and more effective category management processes, contributed to the ability to increase overall markups.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) were $736 million, or 22.8 percent of sales in the 2010 third quarter compared to $687 million, or 23.5 percent in the 2009 third quarter, a decrease of 61 basis points, due primarily to decreases in estimated incentive compensation, healthcare expense and external consulting fees, as well as other cost reduction and productivity initiatives which resulted in certain costs, including store and administrative payroll, increasing less than the overall 10.1% increase in sales for the period. Increased debit card usage caused processing fees to increase at a higher rate than the increase in sales.

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