* EPS ex-items 42 cents vs Street view 34 cents
* Same-store sales up 6.7 pct
* Raises full-year profit forecast
* Shares up 3.8 pct
(Adds forecast, company comments, share move; previous
dateline NEW YORK)
CHICAGO, June 8 Discount retailer Dollar
General Corp (DG.N) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly
profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast as consumers
turn to the chain to save money on food and other staples.
The company, majority-owned by private equity firm Kohlberg
Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL], also bought goods at lower
prices. Shares of Dollar General rose 3.8 percent in premarket
Low-priced retailers like Dollar General and Family Dollar
Stores Inc FDO.N have benefited as consumers hit hardest by
high unemployment and the sluggish U.S. economy remain on tight
budgets. At times, the companies' success has also come at the
expense of discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N).
Dollar General's results came as luxury retailer Neiman
Marcus Group [NMRCUS.UL] posted a third-quarter profit,
reversing a year-earlier loss, helped by higher sales of
full-priced goods [ID:nN04137935].
Together, the reports reinforced the idea that the U.S.
consumer base is becoming increasingly split during the
recovery from the financial crisis, with those at the higher
end more willing to spend again, while those at the lower end
continue to be squeezed by high unemployment and gasoline
Dollar General, which prices most of its merchandise below
$10, said net profit in the fiscal first quarter ended April 30
rose to $136 million, or 39 cents a share, from $83 million, or
26 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, earnings were 42 cents a share,
beating analysts' average forecast of 34 cents, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 11.9 percent to $3.11 billion, topping
expectations. Same-store sales rose 6.7 percent, helped by an
increase in customer traffic and a greater amount of
merchandise bought during those visits.
For the year, Dollar General now expects earnings of $1.62
to $1.69 a share before one-time items, up from its previous
forecast of $1.55 to $1.63.
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman and Dhanya Skariachan, editing by
Maureen Bavdek and John Wallace)