The Company anticipates that many of the sales and margin trends that occurred in the first quarter will continue in the second quarter. Reflecting December results, the Company expects that comparable store sales will increase between 4% and 5% in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 and that earnings per diluted share will be between $1.18 and $1.28 per share compared with $1.15 per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Consistent with the National Retail Federation Calendar, the second quarter of fiscal 2013 will include an extra week. The extra week is expected to add approximately $0.09 of earnings per diluted share to the year, which is included in the Company’s earnings guidance.

Reflecting the Company’s performance year-to-date through December, the Company now expects that diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2013 will be between $3.95 and $4.20 compared to $3.58 in fiscal 2012. The Company's outlook for fiscal 2013 is based on the following assumptions which may or may not prove valid:
  • An increase in comparable store sales of between 4% and 6%;
  • Approximately 500 new store openings and 70-90 store closings;
  • Gross margin pressure driven primarily by an expanding mix of lower-margin consumables;
  • SG&A leverage driven by a strong increase in comparable store sales;
  • An effective income tax rate between 36% and 37%;
  • Weighted average diluted shares of approximately 116 million; and
  • Capital expenditures of between $600 million and $650 million to support new store openings, store renovations, merchandising initiatives, and expansion of the Company’s supply chain.

Cautionary Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements address certain plans, activities or events which the Company expects will or may occur in the future and relate to, among other things, the state of the economy, the Company’s investment and financing plans, net sales, comparable store sales, cost of sales, SG&A expenses, earnings per diluted share, dividends and share repurchases. Various risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made by the Company in this and in other documents or statements are qualified by factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those set forth under the headings titled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission up to the date of this release.

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