NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Standard & Poor's Equity Research on Monday maintained a "Buy" rating on shares of Dollar Tree Inc., but upped its price target saying the discount-store operator is well-positioned to grow sales and earnings in its fiscal 2010.

Dollar Tree is poised to benefit, S&P said, as consumers focus on the best values for their money, and focus on needs rather than wants.

S&P retail analyst Jason Asaeda said they believe the company offers a good mix of consumables, variety and seasonal goods for under $1. He also noted that Dollar Tree is driving traffic with its food options, which are a growing part of discount retailer's sales.

S&P kept its full-year earnings estimate at $2.80 per share and raised its price target by $5 to $50. The new price target implies upside of 18.3 percent over its closing price Friday of $42.25.

Shares of Dollar Tree rose 15 cents to $42.40 in early afternoon trading Monday.
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