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VOL. 37 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 22, 2013

Dollar General 4Q profit rises, traffic improves

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GOODLETTSVILLE (AP) — Dollar General's fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 9 percent as more customers came in to its stores and shoppers spent more per transaction.

The discounter earned $317.4 million, or 97 cents per share, for the period ended Feb. 1. That compares with $292.5 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding the acceleration of equity-based compensation and other items, earnings in the year-ago quarter amounted to 87 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 90 cents per share, on average.

Revenue edged up 1 percent to $4.21 billion from $4.19 billion. Wall Street forecast $4.26 billion in revenue.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health climbed 3 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the year, Dollar General Corp. earned $952.7 million, or $2.85 per share. In the previous year, the Goodlettsville, Tenn., company earned $766.7 million, or $2.22 per share. Annual revenue rose 8 percent to $16.02 billion from $14.81 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year increased 4.7 percent.

Dollar General expects 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.15 to $3.30 per share. Revenue is expected to be up 10 percent to 12 percent from 2012's $16.02 billion, which implies $16.66 billion to $16.98 billion. Revenue at stores open at least a year is forecast to rise 4 percent to 6 percent.

Analysts expect earnings of $3.27 per share on revenue of $17.66 billion.

Dollar General had 10,506 stores in 40 states as of Feb. 1.

Its stock added 74 cents to $50.81 in afternoon trading Monday.