same-store sales rose 2.2% in the fourth quarter as consumers continued their parsimonious ways.
Total quarterly sales jumped 6.8% to $1.39 billion, from $1.3 billion in last year's fiscal fourth quarter.
"Dollar Tree continues to be right for the times," said Bob Sasser, president and CEO. "The expanded assortment of high-value basic consumable merchandise makes our stores more relevant and continues to drive sales.
"Comparable-store sales grew despite challenges throughout the quarter, including the calendar shift in November, and a succession of winter storms across the country from mid-December through January," he said. "Holiday sales were very strong despite the weather impact, as customers took advantage of our great values on Christmas seasonal merchandise and basic consumable products."
For the full year 2008, sales were a record $4.64 billion, a 9.5% increase compared to the $4.24 billion reported last year. Comparable-store sales increased 4.1% for the full year 2008.
The company expects that EPS for the quarter and year will be above the middle of its previous guidance range of $1.07 to $1.15 and $2.45 to $2.53, respectively.
The Chesapeake, Va.-based company will release its fourth-quarter earnings results on Feb. 25. The Dollar Tree previously predicted quarterly earnings of $1.07 to $1.15 per share and full-year profit of $2.45 to $2.53 per share.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of $1.14 per share for the fourth quarter and $2.52 for the year.
99 Cents Only Stores
on Wednesday, but the discount chain scaled back plans to close its Texas outlets after same-store sales in the Lone Star State rallied in the past month.
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