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Press release from Business Wire

Family Dollar Reports Record Sales and Earnings Results

<ul> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Comparable Store Sales Increased 5.6% in the Fourth Quarter and 5.5% for Fiscal 2011</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Diluted EPS Increased 17.9% for the Fourth Quarter and 19.1% for Fiscal 2011</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Company Announces Plans to Open 450 to 500 New Stores in Fiscal 2012</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Company Announces Authorization to Purchase an Additional $250 Million of Common Stock</b></i> </li> </ul>

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Family Dollar Reports Record Sales and Earnings Results07:00 EDT Wednesday, September 28, 2011 MATTHEWS, N.C. (Business Wire) -- Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) today reported record sales and earnings results for the fourth quarter and year ended August 27, 2011. Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 9.1% to $2.134 billion, compared to $1.957 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Net income per diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 17.9% to $0.66 compared with $0.56 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Net sales for fiscal 2011 increased 8.7% to $8.548 billion compared to $7.867 billion in fiscal 2010. Net income per diluted share in fiscal 2011 increased 19.1% to $3.12 compared with $2.62 in fiscal 2010. “A year ago we launched an ambitious, multi-year plan to accelerate revenue growth, expand operating margins and optimize our capital structure, and I am pleased to announce that we have executed well against our plans in a very difficult operating environment,” said Howard Levine, Chairman and CEO. “In fiscal 2011 our team: drove a 5.5% increase in comparable store sales; opened 300 new stores compared with 200 new store openings in fiscal 2010; renovated 972 stores, exceeding our initial target of 600-800 renovations; significantly expanded our consumables assortment; delivered four additional quarters of consecutive double-digit earnings per diluted share growth; completed an initial public debt offering of $300 million in 10-year notes; and repurchased 13.9 million shares at a total cost of approximately $670 million and increased the annual dividend by 15.8%. “I am very proud of this performance, and I want to recognize the efforts and dedication of all our 51,000 Family Dollar Team Members. "In fiscal 2012, we intend to accelerate investments to drive sales and profitability. We plan to open 450-500 new stores, a more than 50% increase over fiscal 2011 openings. We also intend to renovate, relocate or expand over 1,000 stores,” continued Levine. “I remain confident that these investments, combined with our strategy of providing customers with great value and convenience, will continue to deliver strong shareholder returns in fiscal 2012 and beyond.” Fourth Quarter Results Comparable stores sales in the fourth quarter increased 5.6%. The increase in comparable store sales was the result of increased customer traffic, as measured by the number of register transactions, and higher average customer transaction values. Sales in the quarter were strongest in the Consumables and the Seasonal and Electronics categories. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 34.0% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to 34.7% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The decline in gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was primarily a result of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables. In addition, inventory shrinkage and promotional markdowns increased slightly as a percentage of sales. These pressures were partially offset by higher purchase mark-ups resulting from our continued investments in price management capabilities, private brands and global sourcing. Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses increased 5.3% to $593.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to $564.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses were 27.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared with 28.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Most expenses were leveraged during the quarter as a result of strong comparable store sales. As a percentage of sales, lower insurance expense, incentive compensation and store labor were partially offset by investments to drive revenue growth, including store renovations and the acceleration of new store openings. In addition, SG&A expenses in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 benefited from a favorable $9.0 million insurance settlement. Operating profit increased 15.1% to $131.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to $114.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. As a percentage of sales, operating profit expanded to 6.2% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to 5.9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Interest expense increased to $7.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase was primarily due to the issuance of $300 million of senior unsecured notes due 2021 in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company's effective tax rate was approximately 36.0% compared with 33.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the Company benefited from the favorable impact of concluding a federal income tax examination. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 8.0% to $79.8 million, compared with $74.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Fiscal 2011 Results Comparable store sales for fiscal 2011 increased 5.5%. The increase in comparable store sales was primarily the result of increased customer traffic, as measured by the number of register transactions, and higher average customer transaction values. Sales in fiscal 2011 were strongest in the Consumables category. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 35.5% in fiscal 2011 compared to 35.7% in fiscal 2010. The decline in gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was primarily the result of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables and higher freight expense. These pressures were partially offset by lower inventory shrinkage. Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses increased 7.2% to $2.394 billion in fiscal 2011 compared to $2.232 billion in fiscal 2010. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses were 28.0% in fiscal 2011 compared with 28.4% in fiscal 2010. Many expenses were leveraged during the year as a result of a strong comparable store sales increase and continued productivity improvements. As a percentage of sales, lower incentive compensation more than offset our investments to drive revenue growth, including store renovations, extended store hours and enhanced marketing efforts. Operating profit increased 10.9% to $638.1 million in fiscal 2011 as compared to $575.6 million in fiscal 2010. As a percentage of sales, operating profit expanded to 7.5% in fiscal 2011 as compared to 7.3% in fiscal 2010. Interest expense was $22.4 million in fiscal 2011 as compared to $13.3 million in fiscal 2010, and the Company's effective tax rate was approximately 37.1% compared with 36.5% in fiscal 2010. The increase in the effective tax rate in fiscal 2011 was due to an increase in state income taxes. Inventories at the end of fiscal 2011 were $1.155 billion, or 12.3% more than inventories of $1.028 billion at the end of fiscal 2010. Average inventory per store at the end of fiscal 2011 was approximately 9% higher than the average inventory per store at the end of fiscal 2010. The increase in inventories was primarily a result of a planned expansion of key consumable categories. During fiscal 2011, the Company expanded its assortment of food by approximately 20% and its assortment of health and beauty aids by approximately 25%. Capital expenditures were $345.3 million in fiscal 2011 compared with $212.4 million in fiscal 2010. The increase in capital expenditures was primarily a result of a greater number of store renovations, increased new store openings, and expenditures related to the start of construction of the Company's 10th distribution center. In addition, the Company purchased 44 stores in fiscal 2011. During fiscal 2011, the Company opened 300 new stores and closed 62 stores compared to 200 store openings and 70 closings in fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2011, the Company renovated, expanded or relocated 1,019 stores compared to 117 in fiscal 2010. During fiscal 2011, the Company repurchased approximately 13.9 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of $670.5 million. As of August 27, 2011, the Company had the authorization to purchase up to an additional $87.3 million of its common stock. Stock Buyback Authorization The Company's Board of Directors has authorized the Company to purchase an additional $250 million of its common stock. The Company intends to fund these repurchases through cash from operations. Such repurchases may be effected through trading plans, open market repurchases, privately negotiated transactions, accelerated share repurchase transactions, and/or other transactions. The timing and amount of repurchase transactions under this program will depend upon market conditions, corporate considerations and regulatory requirements. Outlook For fiscal 2012, the Company expects that earnings per share will be between $3.50 and $3.75 compared to $3.12 in fiscal 2011. The Company's outlook for fiscal 2012 is based on the following assumptions which may or may not prove valid: An increase in net sales of between 8% and 10%; An increase in comparable store sales of between 4% and 6%; Approximately 450-500 new store openings and 80-100 store closings; A modest increase in the operating margin as a percentage of sales; An effective income tax rate of between 37.0% and 37.5%; Weighted average diluted shares of approximately 118 million; and Capital expenditures of between $550 million and $600 million to support new store openings, store renovations, purchases of stores, and expansion of the Company's supply chain. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company expects that comparable store sales will increase between 4% and 6% and that earnings per diluted share will be between $0.65 and $0.73 per share compared with $0.58 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Cautionary Statements Certain statements contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements address certain plans, activities or events which the Company expects will or may occur in the future and relate to, among other things, the state of the economy, the Company's investment and financing plans, net sales, comparable store sales, cost of sales, SG&A expenses, earnings per diluted share, dividends and share repurchases. Various risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made by the Company in this and in other documents or statements are qualified by factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those set forth under the headings titled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission up to the date of this release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied in such statements will not be realized, except as may be required by law. Earnings Conference Call Information The Company plans to host a conference call with investors this morning at 10:00 A.M. ET to discuss the results. The Company will also provide an update on various business initiatives and discuss plans and expectations for fiscal 2012. After some prepared remarks by management, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. The Company's responses to questions, as well as other matters discussed during the conference call, may include information that has not been disclosed previously. If you wish to participate, please call (800) 779-6561 for domestic US calls and (517) 308-9046 for international calls at least 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin. The passcode for the conference call is FAMILY DOLLAR. There will also be a live webcast of the conference call with accompanying slides that can be accessed at the following link: http://www.familydollar.com/investors.aspx?p=irhome. A replay of the webcast will be available at the same address noted above after 2:00 P.M. ET, September 28, 2011. About Family Dollar For more than 50 years, Family Dollar has been providing value and convenience to customers in easy-to-shop neighborhood locations. Family Dollar's mix of name brands and quality, private brand merchandise, appeals to shoppers in more than 7,000 stores in rural and urban settings across 44 states. Helping families save on the items they need with everyday low prices creates a strong bond with customers who refer to their neighborhood store as “my Family Dollar.” Headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, Family Dollar is a Fortune 300, publicly held company with common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FDO. For more information, please visit www.familydollar.com.     FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME(Unaudited)       For the Fourth Quarter Ended(in thousands, except per share amounts)August 27, 2011   % of Net Sales   August 28, 2010   % of Net Sales   Net sales $ 2,134,330 100.00% $ 1,956,846 100.00%   Cost of sales   1,408,723 66.00%   1,278,127 65.32%   Gross profit 725,607 34.00% 678,719 34.68%   Selling, general and administrative expenses   593,835 27.82%   564,206 28.83%   Operating profit 131,772 6.17% 114,513 5.85%   Investment income 268 0.01% 501 0.03%   Interest expense   7,202 0.34%   3,337 0.17%   Income before income taxes 124,838 5.85% 111,677 5.71%   Income taxes   44,989 2.11%   37,723 1.93%   Net income $ 79,849 3.74% $ 73,954 3.78%   Net income per common share - basic $ 0.67 $ 0.56 Weighted average shares - basic 119,292 132,049   Net income per common share - diluted $ 0.66 $ 0.56 Weighted average shares - diluted 120,444 133,181   Dividends declared per common share $ 0.180 $ 0.155     FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME(Unaudited)       For the Year Ended(in thousands, except per share amounts)August 27, 2011   % of Net Sales   August 28, 2010   % of Net Sales   Net sales $ 8,547,835 100.00% $ 7,866,971 100.00%   Cost of sales   5,515,540 64.53%   5,058,971 64.31%   Gross profit 3,032,295 35.47% 2,808,000 35.69%   Selling, general and administrative expenses   2,394,223 28.01%   2,232,402 28.38%   Operating profit 638,072 7.46% 575,598 7.32%   Investment income 1,532 0.02% 1,597 0.02%   Interest expense   22,446 0.26%   13,337 0.17%   Income before income taxes 617,158 7.22% 563,858 7.17%   Income taxes   228,713 2.68%   205,723 2.62%   Net income $ 388,445 4.54% $ 358,135 4.55%   Net income per common share - basic $ 3.15 $ 2.64 Weighted average shares - basic 123,360 135,745   Net income per common share - diluted $ 3.12 $ 2.62 Weighted average shares - diluted 124,486 136,596   Dividends declared per common share $ 0.695 $ 0.600     FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(Unaudited)       As of*(in thousands, except per share and share amounts)August 27, 2011   August 28, 2010Assets Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 141,405 $ 382,754 Short-term investment securities 96,006 120,325 Merchandise inventories 1,154,660 1,028,022 Deferred income taxes 60,011 52,190 Income tax refund receivable 10,326 — Prepayments and other current assets   71,436   63,005 Total current assets 1,533,844 1,646,296   Property and equipment, net 1,280,589 1,111,966 Investment securities 107,458 147,108 Other assets   74,314   62,775   Total assets$2,996,205$2,968,145   Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity Current liabilities: Current portion of long-term debt $ 16,200 $ — Accounts payable 685,063 676,975 Accrued liabilities 310,818 309,347 Income taxes   4,974   18,447 Total current liabilities 1,017,055 1,004,769   Long-term debt 532,370 250,000 Other liabilities 270,466 253,576 Deferred income taxes 89,240 38,246 Commitments and contingencies   Shareholders' equity: Preferred stock, $1 par; authorized and unissued 500,000 shares — — Common stock, $.10 par; authorized 600,000,000 shares 14,732 14,650 Capital in excess of par 274,445 243,831 Retained earnings 1,969,749 1,665,646 Accumulated other comprehensive loss (6,403) (7,046) Common stock held in treasury, at cost   (1,165,449)   (495,527) Total shareholders' equity   1,087,074   1,421,554   Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$2,996,205$2,968,145   *Certain revisions of the amounts for fiscal 2010 have been made to conform to the presentation for fiscal 2011.     FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS(Unaudited)         For the Year Ended*(in thousands)August 27, 2011   August 28, 2010 Cash flows from operating activities:   Net income $ 388,445 $ 358,135 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities: Depreciation and amortization 182,455 172,037 Deferred income taxes 46,805 8,123 Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation (4,745) (1,676) Stock-based compensation 14,728 13,163 Loss on disposition of property and equipment, including impairment 9,461 7,244 Changes in operating assets and liabilities: Merchandise inventories (126,638) (34,225) Prepayments and other current assets (8,409) 200 Other assets (4,888) 2,666 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 37,057 61,646 Income taxes (23,799) 25,389 Other liabilities   17,592   (21,163)   528,064   591,539   Cash flows from investing activities: Purchases of investment securities (352,082) (142,730) Sales of investment securities 415,877 46,888 Capital expenditures (345,268) (212,435) Proceeds from dispositions of property and equipment   1,055   1,329   (280,418)   (306,948)   Cash flows from financing activities: Revolving credit facility borrowings 46,000 — Repayment of revolving credit facility borrowings (46,000) — Issuance of long-term debt 298,482 — Payment of debt issuance costs (7,811) (651) Repurchases of common stock (670,466) (332,189) Change in cash overdrafts (47,722) 49,687 Proceeds from exercise of employee stock options 17,216 19,663 Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation 4,745 1,676 Payment of dividends   (83,439)     (78,913)   (488,995)     (340,727)   Net change in cash and cash equivalents (241,349) (56,136) Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   382,754   438,890 Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 141,405 $ 382,754   Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information: Purchases of property and equipment awaiting processing for payment, included in accounts payable $ 36,220 $ 22,848 Cash paid during the period for: Interest, net of amounts capitalized 20,395 12,568 Income taxes, net of refunds 201,843 175,915   *Certain revisions of the amounts for fiscal 2010 have been made to conform to the presentation for fiscal 2011.     FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESSelected Additional Information     NET SALES BY CATEGORY:       For the Fourth Quarter EndedAugust 27,August 28,(in thousands)20112010% Change Consumables $ 1,475,498 $ 1,317,170 12.0% Home products 227,762 227,572 0.1% Apparel and accessories 218,662 217,582 0.5% Seasonal and electronics   212,408   194,522 9.2% TOTAL $ 2,134,330 $ 1,956,846 9.1%   For the Year EndedAugust 27,August 28,(in thousands)20112010% Change Consumables $ 5,686,576 $ 5,119,911 11.1% Home products 1,084,480 1,035,944 4.7% Apparel and accessories 854,602 840,929 1.6% Seasonal and electronics   922,177   870,187 6.0% TOTAL $ 8,547,835 $ 7,866,971 8.7%     STORES IN OPERATION:For the Year EndedAugust 27,August 28,20112010 Beginning Store Count 6,785 6,655 New Store Openings 300 200 Store Closings   (62)   (70) Ending Store Count 7,023 6,785 Total Square Footage (000s) 59,952 57,877 Total Selling Square Footage (000s) 49,996 48,225     Family Dollar Stores, Inc.INVESTOR CONTACT:Kiley F. Rawlins, CFA, 704-849-7496krawlins@familydollar.comorMEDIA CONTACT:Josh Braverman, 704-814-3447jbraverman@familydollar.com