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Dollar General Tops Q2 Earnings Forecast As Pandemic Sales Surge

Discount retailer Dollar Tree said same-store sales surged 18.8% from last year as consumers shifted spending habits to lower-priced items in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dollar General Corp.  (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Thursday, and boosted its share buyback plans, and consumers shifted to discount retailers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dollar General said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in July were pegged at $3.12 per share, up 70% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.44 per share. Group revenues, Dollar General said, rose 24.6% to $8.7 billion, again topping analysts' forecast of an $8.35 billion tally. 

Pandemic-related spending, which has shifted consumer treads to lower-priced, lower-margin items, helped boost same store sales to 18.8% more than last year's levels, Dollar General said. 

“I want to thank our associates for their exceptional work over the past several months as we continue to navigate this challenging and dynamic operating environment,” said CEO Todd Vasos “As the neighborhood general store for thousands of communities across the country, we appreciate the importance of our role in providing customers with affordable, convenient, and close-to-home access to everyday essentials."

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“We continue to operate from a position of strength and are excited to announce the acceleration of several key strategic initiatives, including the rollout of DG Pickup, DG Fresh, and our Non-Consumables initiative, as well as an increase in our expected number of real estate projects for fiscal 2020," he added. "Our robust portfolio of initiatives, coupled with our expansive real estate footprint of nearly 17,000 store locations, positions us well to continue delivering value and convenience for our customers, while driving sustainable long-term growth and value for our shareholders.”

Dollar General shares were marked 2.4% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $210.00 each, a move that extends the stock's year-to-date gain to around 34.6%. 

The Goodlesttville, Tennessee-based retailer also increased its share buyback autorization to $2 billion, and declared a quarterly cash dividend of 36 cents per share.