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Dollar General 1Q profit tops Street's view, key sales metric climbs on better traffic

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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tennessee — Dollar General's fiscal first-quarter profit topped Wall Street's expectations, and a key sales measurement rose thanks to better traffic and shoppers spending more per transaction.

Its stock climbed 3 percent before the market opened.

The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based company earned $253.2 million, or 84 cents per share, for the period ended May 1. That compares with $222.4 million, or 72 cents per share, a year ago.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 82 cents per share.

Sales at store open at least a year increased 3.7 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Dollar General's revenue increased to $4.92 billion from $4.52 billion, but missed Wall Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected higher revenue of $4.94 billion.

The discount retailer maintained its guidance for 2015 earnings to be in a range of about $3.85 to $3.95 per share and revenue to rise about 8 percent to 9 percent.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict full-year earnings of $3.94 per share.

Dollar General Corp.'s shares gained $2.19 to $75 in premarket trading. It had nearly 12,000 stores in 43 states at quarter's end.

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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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