Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, reported its results for the quarter ended July 30, 2011 (“second quarter”) . Consolidated net sales for the second quarter were $1.54 billion, an 11.9% increase compared to $1.38 billion reported for the quarter ended July 31, 2010 (“second quarter 2010”). Comparable store sales increased 4.7%, on top of a 6.7% increase for the second quarter 2010.
Earnings per diluted share for the second quarter were $0.77, an increase of 26.2% compared to the $0.61 earnings per diluted share reported for the quarter ended July 31, 2010.
“I am pleased with our second quarter performance as sales, earnings and operating margins continue to expand,” President and CEO Bob Sasser said. “Increases in customer traffic and average ticket drove our sales growth, which was strongest in the latter half of the quarter. Our operating margin continued to improve even with significantly higher energy prices throughout the quarter relative to last year. Earnings continue to grow and our stores are executing at a high level. We transitioned quickly from “Summer Fun” to back-to-school and are ready for the fall selling season.”
Operating margin increased 70 basis points for the quarter to 10.0%. The improvement was driven by a 10 basis point increase in gross margin and a 60 basis point reduction in S.G. &A. expenses.Cash and investments at quarter-end totaled approximately $545 million, compared with $480 million at the end of the second quarter 2010. During the second quarter, the Company repurchased 0.1 million shares for $8.2 million, and has $249.2 million remaining on its share repurchase authorization. The Company continues to grow. During the second quarter, Dollar Tree opened 76 stores, expanded or relocated 23 stores, and closed 11 stores. Retail selling square footage increased 8.9% compared to a year ago, to 36.6 million square feet.