Dollar General Confident In FY22 Outlook; Sees Challenging Q1

While reporting fourth-quarter results on Thursday, Dollar General Corp. (DG) said, for fiscal 2022, it projects net sales growth of approximately 10%, including an estimated benefit of approximately two percentage points from the 53rd week. The company projects same-store sales growth of approximately 2.5% for the fiscal year. EPS growth is anticipated in the range of approximately 12% to 14%, including an estimated benefit of approximately four percentage points from the 53rd week. The company also reiterated its plans to execute 2,980 real estate projects in fiscal 2022, including 1,110 new store openings, 1,750 remodels, and 120 store relocations.

For the 13-week quarter ending April 29, 2022, the company currently expects a same-store sales decline of 2% to 1%, and EPS in the range of $2.25 to $2.35. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $2.73. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

John Garratt, Dollar General's CFO, said: "While we anticipate a challenging first quarter due to elevated cost pressures, ongoing supply chain disruptions, and the prior year sales and gross margin comparison, both of which were positively impacted by stimulus payments, we are confident in our full year plan, including our outlook for sales and EPS growth."

The company reported net income of $597.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, a decrease of 7.0% from a year ago. EPS decreased 1.9% to $2.57. On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $2.57, for the quarter.

Net sales increased 2.8% year-on-year to $8.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company noted that the net sales increase was primarily driven by positive sales contributions from new stores, partially offset by the decline in same-store sales and the impact of store closures. Analysts on average had estimated $8.7 billion in revenue.

Fourth quarter same-store sales decreased 1.4%, driven by a decline in customer traffic, partially offset by an increase in average transaction amount. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 declined in each of the apparel, consumables, seasonal, and home products categories.

On March 16, 2022, the company's Board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.55 per share on common stock, payable on or before April 19, 2022 to shareholders of record on April 5, 2022.

Shares of Dollar General were up 4% in pre-market trade on Thursday.

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