Dollar Tree, Inc. Reports Record Third Quarter Results
Dollar Tree, Inc. Reports Record Third Quarter Results Diluted Earnings Per Share Increased 61.7%, To $0.76 Operating Margin Increased 240 Basis Points, To 8.6% Raises Guidance for Fourth Quarter 2009
CHESAPEAKE, Va. - November 24, 2009 - Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), the nation's leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, reported earnings per diluted share of $0.76, for the quarter ended October 31, 2009 ("third quarter"), an increase of 61.7% compared to the $0.47 earnings per diluted share reported for the quarter ended November 1, 2008. Consolidated net sales for the third quarter were $1.25 billion, a 12.1% increase compared to $1.11 billion reported for the quarter ended November 1, 2008. Comparable store sales increased 6.5% for the quarter.
"I am pleased with our third quarter performance," said President and CEO Bob Sasser. "Sales and earnings were above plan, operating margin improved significantly, we leveraged our S.G. & A. expenses and we continued to expand our nation-wide store base. The sell-through on Halloween and fall seasonal products was excellent and our stores are now set with an exciting presentation of extreme-value merchandise for Thanksgiving and the Holiday season."
Operating margin increased 240 basis points for the quarter to 8.6%. The improvement was driven by a 130 basis point increase in gross margin and a 110 basis point reduction in Selling, General and Administrative expenses.
During the third quarter 2009, the Company repurchased 1.4 million shares of its common stock for $69.3 million. Year-to-date, the company has repurchased 3.5 million shares for $154.6 million. At the end of the third quarter, $299.1 million remain under the $500 million share repurchase program authorized by the Board of Directors.
The Company continues to grow. During the third quarter, Dollar Tree opened 94 stores, closed 8 stores, and expanded or relocated 33 stores. For the year to-date, the Company has opened 233 new stores, closed 21 stores and expanded or relocated 74 stores. Retail selling square footage at the end of the third quarter was 32.3 million square feet, a 7.2% increase compared to a year ago.
The Company estimates sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 to be in the range of $1.49 - $1.53 billion, based on low-to-mid single digit positive comparable store sales. Diluted earnings per share are estimated to be in the range of $1.30 to $1.39.
Full year sales are now estimated to be in the range of $5.17 - $5.21 billion and diluted earnings per share are expected to be $3.34 - $3.43.