Diluted earnings per share increased 24.0% to $1.60
Consolidated net sales increased 12.8%
Comparable store sales increased 7.3%
CHESAPEAKE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, today reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 (“fourth quarter 2011” and “fiscal year 2011”).
Fourth Quarter Results
Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.95 billion, a 12.8% increase compared to $1.73 billion reported for the quarter ended January 29, 2011 (“fourth quarter 2010”). 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 24.0% 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.”
Operating margin increased 50 basis points for the quarter to 15.5%. The improvement was driven by a 20 basis point increase in gross margin and a 30 basis point reduction in Selling, General and Administrative expenses.
Cash and investments at quarter-end totaled $288.3 million, compared with $486.0 million at the end of the fourth quarter 2010. During the fourth quarter, the Company repurchased 3.5 million shares for $300.0 million. During the full fiscal year 2011, the Company repurchased 8.7 million shares for $645.9 million, and has $1.2 billion remaining on its share repurchase authorization.
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 square feet.
Full Year Results
For fiscal year 2011, the Company’s consolidated net sales were $6.63 billion, a 12.7% increase compared with 2010 sales of $5.88 billion. Comparable store sales increased 6.0%, on top of a 6.3% increase last year. Diluted earnings per share were $4.03, an increase of 30.0% from diluted earnings per share of $3.10 in 2010. As we have previously disclosed, in the first quarter 2010 we recorded a non-recurring, non-cash charge of $26.3 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, relating to a retail inventory accounting change. Excluding this charge our earnings for fiscal 2010 were $3.23 per diluted share.
The Company estimates sales for the first quarter of 2012 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 7.0% square footage growth. Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.91 to $0.97.
For the full year, the Company 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. These estimates assume no impact from potential additional share repurchase activity in 2012. In addition, 2012 will include a 53rd week that will be recorded in the fourth quarter 2012. The extra week is expected to add $120 million to $130 million to sales in the fourth quarter 2012 and $0.13 to $0.15 earnings per diluted share, both of which are included in our guidance.
On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the Company will host a conference call to discuss its earnings results at 9:00 a.m. EST. The telephone number for the call is 888-244-2435. A recorded version of the call will be available until midnight Wednesday, February 29, and may be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112. The access code is 9054013. A webcast of the call is accessible through Dollar Tree's website, www.dollartreeinfo.com/investors/news/events and will remain online until midnight Wednesday, February 29.
Dollar Tree, a Fortune 500 Company, operated 4,351 stores across 48 U.S. states and 5 Canadian Provinces as of January 28, 2012. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.
A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: Our press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address future events, developments or results and typically use words such as believe, anticipate, expect, intend, plan, forecast, or estimate. For example, our forward-looking statements include statements regarding estimated consolidated net sales, comparable-store sales, and diluted earnings per share for the first quarter and full year 2012 and for the 53rd week of 2012. For a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could affect our future events, developments or results, you should carefully review the "Risk Factors," "Business," and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed March 17, 2011, the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and other sections in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed November 17, 2011 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not obligated to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this report and you should not expect us to do so.
Dollar Tree, Inc., Chesapeake
Timothy J. Reid, 757-321-5284