As of November 2, 2012, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $2.33 billion compared to $2.09 billion as of October 28, 2011, an increase of 5.5 percent on a per-store basis. Improving merchandise in-stock levels, while improving inventory turns, remains a high priority. Inventory turns, based on the most recent four quarters, were 5.2 times as of November 2, 2012.
Total purchases of property and equipment in the 2012 year-to-date period were $454 million including $129 million for improvements, upgrades, remodels and relocations of existing leased stores; $115 million related to new leased stores, primarily for leasehold improvements, fixtures and equipment; $98 million for stores purchased or built by us; $87 million for distribution and transportation-related capital expenditures; and $19 million for information systems upgrades and technology-related projects. During the 2012 39-week period, the Company opened 479 new stores, including 34 Dollar General Market stores and 24 Dollar General Plus stores, and remodeled or relocated 591 stores.
On November 30, 2011, the Company’s board of directors approved a share repurchase program of up to $500 million of the Company’s outstanding stock, and on August 29, 2012, they approved an additional $500 million share repurchase program, bringing total authorizations to $1.0 billion. In the 39-weeks ended November 2, 2012, the Company repurchased $596 million, or 12.7 million shares, under these programs. Since December 2011, the Company has repurchased $781 million, or 17.6 million shares. As of November 2, 2012, an authorization of $219 million remained under the August 2012 share repurchase program.
Fiscal 2012 Financial Outlook
The Company has updated its financial outlook to reflect the results of the third quarter and expectations for the remainder of the year. The Company expects total sales for the 2012 fiscal year to increase by 8.0 to 8.5 percent over the 53-week 2011 fiscal year, or 10 to 10.5 percent on a comparable 52-week basis. Same-store sales, based on a comparable 52-week period, are now expected to increase 4.5 to 5.0 percent. For the year, operating profit, excluding expenses resulting from secondary offerings of the Company’s stock, is expected to be between $1.630 billion and $1.645 billion.