Profits grow on the Dollar Tree

CHESAPEAKE, Va — Dollar Tree's sales and earnings growth for the fourth quarter and fiscal year is just another example of how discounters dominated in 2011. 

The company reported that net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.95 billion, a 12.8% increase compared with $1.73 billion reported for the quarter ended Jan. 29, 2011. Comparable-store sales increased 7.3%, on top of a 3.9% increase for the fourth quarter 2010.

Earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter were $1.60, an increase of 24% compared to the $1.29 earnings per diluted share reported for the fourth quarter 2010.

“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,” said president and CEO Bob Sasser. “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.”

During the fourth quarter, Dollar Tree opened 21 stores, expanded or relocated 3 stores, and closed 5 stores. Retail selling square footage increased 6.9% compared to a year ago, to 37.6 million sq. ft.

Dollar Tree reported that net sales for the full year were $6.63 billion, a 12.7% increase compared with 2010 sales of $5.88 billion. Comparable-store sales increased 6%, on top of a 6.3% increase last year.

Diluted earnings per share were $4.03, an increase of 30% from diluted earnings per share of $3.10 in 2010. 

For the first quarter of 2012, Dollar Tree said it expects sales to be in the range of $1.65 billion to $1.69 billion, based on low -to- mid single-digit positive comparable-store sales, and 7% square footage growth. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 91 cents to 97 cents.

For the full year, the company said it estimates sales will range from $7.25 billion to $7.42 billion. This estimate is based on a range of low -to -mid single digit positive comparable-store sales, and square footage growth of approximately 7.2% for the year. Fiscal year 2012 diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $4.65 to $4.90.