Dollar Tree Inc.
) reported first-quarter fiscal 2014 earnings of 67 cents per
share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and marking a
13.6% increase from 59 cents per share earned in first-quarter
Revenues increased 7.2% on a year-over-year basis in the quarter
to $2,000.3 million but fell marginally short of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $2,014 million. The improvement from last
year was driven by robust sales in both consumables and
discretionary products with the seasonal and discretionary
categories displaying a slightly higher growth rate.
Product categories that excelled in the quarter included candy,
check-out products, stationery and seasonal merchandise for
Valentines and Easter.
Comparable store sales (comps) increased 2% primarily driven by
improved traffic, coupled with a marginal rise in average ticket.
Including the currency fluctuations in Canada, comps registered a
growth of 1.9% in the quarter.
Shares of Dollar Tree rose nearly 6.62% on the index, closing trade
at $53.31 per share, following the company's robust earnings
Dollar Tree's quarterly gross profit rose 6.2% year over year to
$696.6 million, while gross margin contracted 40 basis points (bps)
to 34.8%. On the other hand, selling, general and administrative
(SG&A) expenses increased 5.8% to $464.7 million. As a
percentage of revenues, it contracted 40 bps year over year to
Consequently, operating income for the quarter escalated 7.1% to
$231.9 million. Operating margin came in at 11.6%, flat compared
with the year-ago period.
Balance Sheet and Capex
Dollar Tree ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of
$387.1 million compared with cash balance of $383.3 million at end
of first quarter fiscal 2013.
Merchandise inventories were $1,042.9 million compared with
$1,009.5 million as of May 4, 2013. During the quarter, the company
spent $71.9 million on capital expenditure as against $103.2
million spent in the prior year.
During the first quarter, the company received nearly 1.9 million
shares under its $1 billion Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR)
program, entered in Sep 2013. Further, in the second quarter the
company has so far received 1.2 million shares, marking the
completion of the ASR program. In total, the company has bought
back about 18.1 million shares under this program. Looking forward,
the company has $1 billion remaining under its share repurchase
In the quarter, the company further expanded its store network by
opening 94 stores, expanding or relocating 28 stores and shutting
down 6 stores. Retail selling square footage grew 6.8% year over
year to 44 million in the quarter.
For the second quarter of fiscal 2014, Dollar Tree expects total
sales to be in the range of $1.97-$2.02 billion on the back of low
single-digit comps growth. Further, the company anticipates
earnings in the range of 58-64 cents per share in the upcoming
For fiscal 2014, the company anticipates sales to reach $8.37-$8.54
billion range based on low single-digit comps growth. Dollar Tree
projects earnings for fiscal 2014 to come in the range of
$2.94-$3.12 per share, excluding any impact from share repurchases.
The company expects capital expenditures of nearly $350-$360
million for fiscal 2014, towards opening of new stores and
remodeling of existing stores. Depreciation and amortization
expenses are projected to range from $200 million to $210 million
for fiscal 2014. Tax rate for the second quarter is estimated at
38.4%, while in fiscal 2014 it is expected to be 38.3%.
In fiscal 2014, the company plans to open nearly 375 new stores and
relocate 75 stores for a total 450 projects across the U.S. and
Canada. Square footage is expected to augment 7% year over year in
Dollar Tree is considered among the best-positioned dollar store
concepts, especially with its evolving multi-price point chain. We
believe that the company is doing a commendable job internally in
managing controllable inputs, including reducing stem miles, while
increasing back-haul opportunities at the same time.
Dollar Tree currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked
stocks in the retail space include
Foot Locker Inc.
American Apparel Inc.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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