A dollar goes a long way, after all.
Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR) - Get Report shares are up Tuesday morning, Nov. 21, after exceeding analyst projections of its third-quarter earnings — one of its best quarters in years, according to CEO Gary Philbin. The discount store posted earnings of $1.01 per share, compared to the Street's prediction of 90 cents.
Same-store sales rose 3.2% in the quarter ending on Oct. 28, again higher than predictions of 2.1%, according to FactSet. That's the best quarterly comp performance since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Philbin. Total sales revenue was $5.32 billion, up from the forecast of $5.28 billion. Gross margin was up 31.1%, up 60 basis points from the same period last year.
"Our third-quarter results demonstrate our continuing progress in delivering value and convenience, serving more customers in more markets across North America, through our diversified business model," Philbin said in a statement.
Philbin took the reins on the company in September, after former CEO Bob Sasser stepped down.
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While much of retail flounders, dollar stores have had a relatively drama-free year. Dollar Tree's stock gained 20% in value since the beginning of 2017 to $96, while its rival Dollar General Corp. (DG) - Get Report posted a 17% uptick.
In early 2017, however, Dollar Tree was slightly down as it struggled with the integration of Family Dollar, which it bought for $19 billion in 2015. In the third quarter, Family Dollar posted same-store sales of 1.5% growth. Improvements to Family Dollar that resulted in positive sales include cleaner stores, greater value on certain items, greater product assortment and better customer service, Philbin said during the earnings call.
Last month, a study from Gordon Haskett Research Advisors found that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) - Get Report is now cheaper than Dollar General and Family Dollar. But it seems that Walmart had no effect on Dollar Tree's performance this quarter. While Philbin did not address pricing battles with competitors, he highlighted customers' satisfaction with the stores' value offerings.
"This represented our 39th consecutive quarter of positive same store sales and operating margin, continues to lead the value sector, he said, "Customers love our fixed price concept and continue to shop for value and convenience."
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