Per-share profits jumped 29% at Dollar General ( DG) in its first quarter, topping analysts' estimates. The discount store chain earned $60.3 million, or 18 cents a share, in its quarter ended May 2. In the year-ago quarter, Dollar General earned $45.9 million, or 14 cents a share. Revenue at the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company increased 12.9% to $1.57 billion. Excluding restatement expenses, Dollar General would have earned $60.5 million, or 18 cents a share, up 20% on a per-share basis from last year (which was also restated). Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting Dollar General to earn 16 cents a share on $1.57 billion in sales. The company didn't give specific first-quarter guidance, saying only that it expected its 2003 earnings to increase 11% to 15%, excluding restatement items, on a 13% to 15% jump in revenue. Dollar General reiterated that guidance on Thursday. Sales were toward the low end of the company's projections. On a same-store basis, which compares results of like outlets open more than one year, Dollar General's sales increased 4.2%. The company has projected growth in comparable-store sales of 4% to 6% for the year.