Dollar General Corporation DG registered a stellar performance in second-quarter fiscal 2020, wherein both the top and the bottom lines not only beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also grew year over year. The discount retailer also witnessed sturdy same-store sales performance. Management stated that change in consumer behavior due to the coronavirus pandemic had a favorable impact on the company’s performance.
Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have advanced about 35.8% in the past six months compared with the industry’s rally of 16%.
Let’s Delve Deep
Quarterly earnings came in at $3.12 per share that comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.44 and increased significantly from $1.74 reported in the prior-year period. The year-over-year increase in the bottom line can be attributed to higher net sales and share repurchase activity. Notably, this was the sixth straight quarter of positive earnings surprise.
Net sales of $8,684.2 million increased 24.4% from the prior-year period and came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,328.2 million for the ninth quarter in row. Contribution from new outlets and same-store sales growth favorably impacted the top line, partially offset by the impact of store closures.
Dollar General’s same-store sales increased 18.8% year over year primarily owing to rise in average transaction amount, partly offset by a decline in customer traffic. Consumables, Seasonal, Apparel and Home categories favorably impacted the metric.
Sales in the Consumables category increased 19.7% to $6,496.4 million, while the same in Seasonal category witnessed a rise of 36% to $1,161.6 million. Home Products sales soared 56.2% to $586 million, while Apparel category sales grew 35.6% to $440.3 million.
Dollar General Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Gross profit surged 31.1% to $2,818.2 million during the quarter under review. Notably, gross margin expanded 167 basis points to 32.5% mainly due to higher initial markups on inventory purchases, a significant percentage of sales coming from non-consumables product categories and a reduction in markdowns. This was partly offset by higher distribution and transportation expenses.
Meanwhile, adjusted operating income surged 71.3% to $1,042.6 million, whereas adjusted operating margin increased to 12% from 8.7% in the year-ago period.
During the 26-week period ended on Jul 31, the company opened 500 new outlets, remodeled 973 stores and relocated 43 stores. In fiscal 2020, the company now intends to open 1,000 new stores, remodel 1,670 stores, and relocate 110 stores.
Other Financial Details
Dollar General ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $2,959.6 million, long-term obligations of $4,089 million and shareholders’ equity of $7,356.1 million.
The company incurred capital expenditures of $424 million during the 26-week period ended on Jul 31. For fiscal 2020, it anticipates capital expenditures in the range of $1-$1.1 billion versus prior projection of $925-$975 million.
Dollar General resumed share repurchases during the second quarter, after temporarily suspending the same in the preceding quarter in order to assess the implications of the pandemic. Notably, the company bought back 3.2 million shares for $602 million during the quarter. The company still had $481 million remaining under authorization at the end of the quarter. Also, the company’s board of directors increased the share repurchase authorization by $2 billion on Aug 26, 2020. The company expects to repurchase shares worth $2.5 billion during fiscal 2020.
Dollar General informed that since the end of the second quarter, it has continued to witness “elevated demand” across its stores. Consequently, from Aug 1 through Aug 25, same-store sales have risen roughly 15% compared with prior-year period.
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