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Dollar General 4Q profit meets analysts estimates as key sales figure improves

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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tennessee — Dollar General's fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose on strengthening sales at its discount stores.

The stock rose in Thursday premarket trading.

The discount retailer earned $355.4 million, or $1.17 per share, for the period ended Jan. 30. A year earlier it earned $322.2 million, or $1.01 per share.

The results matched Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of $1.17 per share.

The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based company's revenue rose to $4.94 billion from $4.49 in the period, but missed Wall Street forecasts. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $4.96 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year increased 4.9 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the year, Dollar General Corp. reported a profit of $1.07 billion, or $3.49 per share. Its adjusted profit was $3.50 per share. Revenue totaled $18.91 billion.

Dollar General expects fiscal 2015 earnings between approximately $3.85 and $3.95 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict $4 per share.

The chain also announced Thursday that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Tehle will retire on July 1. He has served as CFO for almost 11 years.

Tehle said in a statement that he planned to spend more time with his family.

Dollar General said that it has started a search for Tehle's successor.

The company's shares added $2.38, or 3.3 percent, to $73.83 before the market open.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DG at http://www.zacks.com/ap/DG

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Keywords: Dollar General, Earnings Report

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