For the quarter ended Jan. 28, the dollar store retailer cited lower general expenses and improved margins as helping it achieve a net income of $187.9 million, or $1.61 a share, compared with a year-earlier $162.5 million, or $1.30 a share. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.60.
Net revenue was up 13% to $1.95 billion, up from $1.7 billion a year ago. Comparable store sales increased 7.3%.
While the earnings beat analysts’ average estimate expecting $1.58 a share, total sales missed their projection for $1.9 billion.
“I am pleased to report that our business momentum remains strong as Dollar Tree’s sales, operating margin, and earnings continued to expand in the fourth quarter,” Bob Sasser, ceo, said.”Dollar Tree is focused on providing a broad, balanced assortment of merchandise that customers need and want at surprising values. Our stores are clean, bright, convenient, seasonally relevant and fun to shop. We are looking forward to an exciting Spring and Easter selling season.”
For its full year 2012, Dollar Tree forecast earnings in the range of $4.65 and $4.90 and its first quarter in the range of 91 cents to 97 cents a share on sales of $1.65 billion. Analysts’ average estimate expects $4.79 for the year and 97 cents a share in the first quarter on sales of $1.70 billion.
The 4,351-unit Dollar Tree opened 21 stores, expanded or relocated three stores, and closed 5 stores during its fourth quarter.