December 1, 2016 / 12:05 PM / a year ago

Dollar General posts surprise drop in comparable sales

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Discount retailer Dollar General Corp reported a surprise drop in third-quarter comparable sales, largely due to lower grocery prices and a reduction of food stamp coverage in several U.S. states.

The company’s shares were down 4.3 percent at $74 in light premarket trading on Thursday.

Sales at Dollar General stores open at least 13 months fell 0.1 percent, compared with the 0.8 percent growth expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

The company’s net income fell to $235.3 million, or 84 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 28, from $253.3 million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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