NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors currently considering buying Dollar General (DG) could easily feel like they're "a day late and a dollar short." Shares trading at near all-time highs and up some 36% in the past year, crushing the broader averages. Not only that, but if you've owned shares in Dollar General for the past five years, you've seen a 140% return on your investment, compared to 77% gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI).
But that doesn't mean it's too late to make money on Dollar General.
Ahead of Dollar General's fiscal first-quarter earnings results, due out Tuesday before the opening bell, there are tons of reasons to still want to buy Dollar General -- that is, if you're willing to hold for the long-term. And by "long-term," I mean 18 to 24 months.
Dollar General, one of the largest discount retailers in the U.S., has come up with a growth strategy to better compete not just within the dollar store segment, but against low-price leader Wal-Mart (WMT). Making that plan a reality won't happen overnight, though.
Still, there's enough evidence to suggest investors should want to buy and hold Dollar General. I estimate its share price will rise to the $85 to $90 range in the next two years, up from Friday's close of around $72. That would translate to gains in the 20% to 25% range. And Dollar General has offered multiple incentives to be patient.