• Net profit down 0.1%
  • Operating profit drops 2.3%
  • Sales up 12.7%
Family Dollar said it expects diluted FY 2013 EPS of between $3.95 and $4.20

Family Dollar said it expects diluted FY 2013 EPS of between $3.95 and $4.20

US discount retailer Family Dollar Stores has recorded first-quarter earnings that came in at the lower end of its guidance due to gross margin pressure and expense headwinds.

In the three months ended 24 November, earnings amounted to US$80.3m, a drop of 0.1% on last year, the company reported today (3 January). Operating profit slid 2.3% to $127m.

Chairman and CEO Howard Levine said: "Early results from our sales-driving initiatives exceeded our expectations in the first quarter, resulting in more gross margin pressure than anticipated. This mix pressure, combined with expected headwinds from insurance expense, resulted in earnings that were at the low end of our guidance."

Net sales in the quarter increased 12.7% to $2.42bn, with comparable store sales up 6.6% due to increased customer traffic and an increase in the average customer transaction value.

The retailer said it expects diluted FY 2013 EPS of between $3.95 and $4.20 compared to $3.58 in fiscal 2012.

Show the press release

 

Family Dollar has added a news release to its Investor Relations website.

Title: Family Dollar Reports First Quarter Results

Date(s): 3-Jan-2013 7:00 AM

For a complete listing of our news releases, please click here

  • First Quarter Net Sales Increased 12.7%
  • Comparable Store Sales Increased 6.6%
  • Earnings Per Diluted Share Increased to $0.69
  • December Comparable Store Sales Increased Approximately 2.5%
  • Management Provides Updated Guidance for FY13

MATTHEWS, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2013-- Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) today reported that for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 ended November 24, 2012, net sales increased to $2.42 billion and net income per diluted share for the quarter increased to $0.69.

"The investments we have made to increase our relevance to the customer are delivering results. We are driving more traffic, and we are increasing our market share," said Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO. "While the near-term economic environment remains difficult to predict, I continue to be excited about the long-term opportunity for our business. We are seeing tangible benefits from our margin-enhancing investments in global sourcing and private brands, and as we work to drive further benefit from the investments we are making to expand profitability, I remain confident that our efforts will deliver stronger results as we progress through fiscal 2013 and beyond."

Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Results

Commenting on the first quarter results, Levine said, "Early results from our sales-driving initiatives exceeded our expectations in the first quarter, resulting in more gross margin pressure than anticipated. This mix pressure, combined with expected headwinds from insurance expense, resulted in earnings that were at the low end of our guidance."

Net sales for the quarter increased 12.7% to $2.42 billion compared to $2.15 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Sales were strongest in the Consumables category, which increased 18.5% during the quarter, driven primarily by strong growth in tobacco, food and health and beauty aids. During the quarter, the Company opened 125 new stores, closed one store, and renovated, relocated or expanded 169 stores.

Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 6.6% as a result of increased customer traffic and an increase in the average customer transaction value.

Gross profit for the quarter increased 9.1% to $826.8 million, or 34.1% of net sales, compared to $757.6 million, or 35.3% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. As a percentage of sales, the impact of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables, higher markdowns and increased inventory shrinkage was partially offset by higher markups and lower freight expense.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of net sales, were 28.9% in the quarter compared to 29.2% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Most expenses were leveraged during the quarter. Additionally, as a percentage of net sales, lower store labor expenses were offset by higher insurance expense and higher marketing expense.

The effective income tax rate in the quarter was 36.4% as compared to 37.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The decrease in the effective tax rate was due primarily to foreign tax benefits associated with the Company's global sourcing efforts and favorable resolution of uncertain state tax positions, which were partially offset by a decrease in federal jobs tax credits.

Net income for the quarter was $80.3 million compared with net income of $80.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

The Company's merchandise inventories at November 24, 2012, were $1.59 billion compared with $1.30 billion at November 26, 2011. Average inventory per store at the end of the quarter was 15.1% higher than the average inventory per store at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The increase in inventories was the result of investments to expand the Company's consumable categories, primarily health and beauty aids and food assortments.

In the quarter, capital expenditures were $196.4 million compared with $130.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The growth in capital expenditures related to increased investments in new stores.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company repurchased approximately 0.4 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of $25.0 million. As of November 24, 2012, the Company had the authorization to purchase up to an additional $120.8 million of its common stock.

Outlook

"The holiday selling season proved to be more challenging than we expected as customers faced increasing financial uncertainty. Comparable stores sales for December increased about 2.5%, driven primarily by strong, double-digit sales of Consumables. Discretionary categories continued to be pressured, reflecting ongoing consumer caution," said Levine. "Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty, we expect that the investments we have made in traffic-driving categories will continue to build sales momentum through January and February, as customers focus even more on basic needs."

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.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized, except as may be required by law.

Earnings Conference Call Information

The Company plans to host a conference call with investors today, January 3, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results. The Company will also provide an update on various business initiatives and discuss plans and expectations for the rest of fiscal 2013. After some prepared remarks by management, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. The Company's responses to questions, as well as other matters discussed during the conference call, may include information that has not been disclosed previously.

If you wish to participate, please call (888) 329-8903 for domestic US calls and (719) 325-2320 for international calls at least 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. The passcode for the conference call is 7056645 or "FAMILY DOLLAR."

A live webcast of the conference call can be accessed at the following link:

http://www.familydollar.com/investors.aspx?p=irhome.

A replay of the webcast will be available at the address noted above after 11:00 a.m. ET, January 3, 2012.

About Family Dollar

For more than 50 years, Family Dollar has been providing value and convenience to customers in easy-to-shop neighborhood locations. Family Dollar's mix of name brands and quality, private brand merchandise appeals to shoppers in more than 7,500 stores in rural and urban settings across 45 states. Helping families save on the items they need with everyday low prices creates a strong bond with customers, who often refer to their neighborhood store as "my Family Dollar." Headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, Family Dollar is a Fortune 300, publicly held company with common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FDO. For more information, please visitwww.familydollar.com.

 

Original source: Family Dollar