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Dollar General Tops Q3 Earnings Forecast, Holds Back on 2021 Profit Guidance

Dollar General said it's seeing 'elevated demand' in its discount retail stores around the country this quarter, but declined to publish near-term earnings projections.

Dollar General Corp.  (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings Thursday, with impressive same-store sales growth, but declined to provide updated profit guidance amid the increasing pandemic uncertainty.

Dollar General said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in October were pegged at $2.31 per share, up 62.7% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.96 per share. Group revenues, Dollar General said, rose 17.3% to $8.2 billion, again topping analysts' forecast of an $8.13 billion tally. 

Same-store sales also impressed, rising 14% from last year, but the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based retailer said it would not issue update 2021 sales or earnings guidance beyond noting 'elevated demand' in its discount stores around the country. 

“I want to thank our associates for their tireless work over the past several months in helping our customers and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CEO Todd Vasos. “To further demonstrate our appreciation and support, we plan to award a total of up to $75 million in appreciation bonuses to eligible frontline employees in Q4, which includes our recent announcement to double our initial plans for second-half bonuses by approximately $50 million, bringing the Company’s full-year investment in employee appreciation bonuses to approximately $173 million."

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"Despite continued significant uncertainty in the operating environment, our team members have been unwavering in their commitment to fulfilling our mission of Serving Others," he added.  

Dollar General shares were marked 2% lower in early trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $213.33 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date gain to around 35%.