Updated from 10:52 a.m. ESTBargain retailer Family Dollar ( FDO) saw sales grow 13% as it beat Wall Street earnings expectations by a penny Thursday. Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar earned $57.5 million, or 33 cents per share, on $1.1 billion in sales in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Nov. 30. In the same period last year, the company earned $50.2 million, or 29 cents per share, on $977 million in sales. Wall Street analysts expected Family Dollar to earn 32 cents per share on $1.1 billion in revenue, according to First Call. For the quarter, the company posted same-store sales gains of 3%. This came despite a disappointing November, in which comparable-stores sales fell 0.7%. The company blamed its weak sales last month on the delayed Thanksgiving holiday, which came one week later than normal, and the lack of an advertising circular that it used to drum up sales last year. Same-store sales figures compare results of outlets open for more than one year. For the company's second quarter, Family Dollar has projected its same-store sales will grow between 3% to 5%. However, the winter storms that blanketed the East Coast earlier this month closed many of its stores, depressing sales. Thus, the company expects its December same-store sales to come in at the low end of that range. Family Dollar operates nearly 4,700 stores in 41 states. The discounter's store count has nearly doubled since the end of its 1995 fiscal year, when it operated 2,400 stores. The company, whose stores typically average around 7,500 to 9,500 square feet, plans to open 575 more outlets this fiscal year. Originally located primarily in small towns and rural communities, Family Dollar is focusing increasingly on large towns and cities. That has caused some problems for the company, as it has found that getting permits to open stores tends to take months in urban areas, compared with just weeks in rural communities, said David Alexander, the company's chief operating officer, on a conference call. Despite the delays, the company expects to reach its goal of 575 new stores this year.