Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) reported third-quarter fiscal 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The discount retailer reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.05 on revenues of $2.57 billion. In the same period a year ago, Family Dollar Stores reported EPS of $1.06 on revenue of $2.36 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.03 and $2.57 billion in revenue.
Same-store sales rose 2.9% in the third quarter, a little better than the company had originally expected. The increase was attributed to higher average transaction value and more customer traffic.
The company’s outlook for its fourth quarter is not particularly rosy. Family Dollar Stores expects same store sales to rise 2%. In the company’s earnings results at the end of the second quarter, it projected same-store sales for the fourth quarter at near 4%. EPS for the fourth quarter is projected at $0.82 to $0.87, which includes a litigation charge of $0.06 per share. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $0.85 in the fourth quarter.
The forecast for full-year EPS has been narrowed from a previous range of $3.73 to $3.93 to a new range of $3.77 to $3.82
The company’s CEO said:
Our consumables sales remained strong and we continued to gain market share. However, our discretionary sales remained challenged as our customers have been forced to make spending choices between basic needs and wants. Consistent with market trends, we expect that our customers will continue to face financial headwinds.
Shares are up about 2% in premarket trading this morning, at $65.25, in a 52-week range of $54.06 to $72.54. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $63.10 before today’s results were announced.