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Press release from Business Wire

Family Dollar Reports Record First Quarter Sales and Earnings

<ul> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>First Quarter Comparable Store Sales Increased 4.1%</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Earnings Per Diluted Share Increased 17.2% To $0.68</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>December Comparable Store Sales Increased Approximately 4%</b></i> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <i><b>Management Reaffirms Earnings Guidance for FY12</b></i> </li> </ul>

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Family Dollar Reports Record First Quarter Sales and Earnings16:30 EST Thursday, January 05, 2012 MATTHEWS, N.C. (Business Wire) -- Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) today reported that net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ended November 26, 2011, increased 7.6% to $2.148billion compared to $1.997 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net income for the quarter increased 8.1% to $80.4 million compared with net income of $74.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net income per diluted share for the quarter increased 17.2% to $0.68 compared with $0.58 for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. “Today, we reported another quarter of record earnings. We opened 101 stores, nearly 20% more than in the first quarter last year, and we entered an important new market, California. We delivered a 4.1% comparable store sales increase on top of a 6.9% increase last year, and we expanded first quarter operating margin to the highest rate since 2004,” said Howard Levine, Chairman and CEO. “The environment continues to be challenging for our customers, and our experienced team remains focused on executing our long-term strategy. We have tremendous opportunity to expand our market share further and improve our store productivity, and I am confident that our investments to better meet the needs of our customers will continue to position us to deliver strong financial returns for our shareholders.” First Quarter Results Comparable store sales in the first quarter increased 4.1%. The increase in comparable store sales was the result of a higher average customer transaction value and increased customer traffic, as measured by the number of register transactions. Sales in the quarter were led by an 11.4% increase in the Consumables category, its fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth. Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, was 35.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to 36.0% in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The decline in gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, was due primarily to the impact of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables, which was mostly offset by higher purchase mark-ups resulting from our continued investments in private brands, global sourcing and price management capabilities. In addition, higher markdowns, increased inventory shrinkage and higher freight costs negatively impacted gross profit as a percentage of net sales. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of net sales, were 29.0% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with 29.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Most expenses were leveraged during the quarter. As a percentage of net sales, lower insurance and store labor expenses were partially offset by investments to drive revenue growth, including store renovations, enhanced marketing efforts, and the acceleration of new store growth. Operating profit increased 11.0% to $134.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 as compared to $121.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. As a percentage of net sales, operating profit expanded to 6.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 as compared to 6.1% in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Interest expense increased to $6.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 as compared to $3.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The increase was primarily due to the issuance of $300 million of senior unsecured notes due 2021 in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The Company's inventories at November 26, 2011, were $1.302 billion, or 14.3% greater than inventories of $1.138 billion at November 27, 2010. Average inventory per store at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2012 was approximately 10% higher than the average inventory per store at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011. The increase in inventories was primarily the result of our investments to expand key consumable categories to drive sales growth and meet customer demand. In the first quarter of fiscal 2012, capital expenditures were $130.9 million compared with $38.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. 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 construction of the Company's 10th distribution center. During the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company opened 101 new stores and closed 4 stores compared to 85 new stores and 18 closings in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. In addition, the Company renovated, relocated or expanded 262 stores in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to 184 in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. During the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased approximately 0.5 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of $27.4 million. As of November 26, 2011, the Company had the authorization to purchase up to an additional $309.9 million of its common stock. Outlook “Comparable stores sales for December increased approximately 4% driven primarily by increased customer traffic,” said Levine. “Consumables delivered another month of double-digit sales growth, and we expect that this momentum will continue through January and February, when customers are even more focused on basic needs.” The Company anticipates that many of the trends that occurred in the first quarter will continue in the second quarter. The Company expects that comparable store sales will increase around 5% and that earnings per diluted share will be between $1.10 and $1.18 per share, compared with $0.98 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Reflecting the Company's performance year-to-date through December, the Company continues to expect that diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2012 will be between $3.50 and $3.75 compared with $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; Gross margin pressure for the full year, with improving trends through the year as many of the pressures faced in the second half of fiscal 2011 are cycled; SG&A expense growth of between 6-7%; 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. 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 tomorrow morning, January 6, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the results. The Company will also provide an update on various business initiatives and discuss plans and expectations for the rest of 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. 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 address noted above after 11:00 a.m. ET, January 6, 2012. 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 7,100 stores in rural and urban settings across 45 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 First Quarter Ended(in thousands, except per share amounts)   November 26,2011   % of NetSalesNovember 27,2010   % of NetSales   Net sales $ 2,148,287 100.00 % $ 1,996,941 100.00 %   Cost of sales   1,390,715 64.74 %   1,277,376 63.97 %   Gross profit 757,572 35.26 % 719,565 36.03 %   Selling, general and administrative expenses   622,662 28.98 %   597,983 29.94 %   Operating profit 134,910 6.28 % 121,582 6.09 %   Investment income 234 0.01 % 387 0.02 %   Interest expense   6,712 0.31 %   3,518 0.18 %   Income before income taxes 128,432 5.98 % 118,451 5.93 %   Income taxes   48,082 2.24 %   44,136 2.21 %   Net income $ 80,350 3.74 % $ 74,315 3.72 %   Net income per common share - basic $ 0.68 $ 0.58 Weighted average shares - basic 117,649 127,984   Net income per common share - diluted $ 0.68 $ 0.58 Weighted average shares - diluted 118,591 129,141   Dividends declared per common share $ 0.180 $ 0.155   FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(Unaudited)       As of*November 26,November 27,(in thousands, except per share and share amounts)20112010Assets Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 103,706 $ 84,621 Short-term investment securities 51,630 52,566 Merchandise inventories 1,301,577 1,138,466 Deferred income taxes 56,477 49,818 Income tax refund receivable 7,181 — Prepayments and other current assets   77,397   75,169 Total current assets 1,597,968 1,400,640   Property and equipment, net 1,355,287 1,110,607 Investment securities 94,543 145,014 Other assets   73,353   70,753   Total assets$3,121,151$2,727,014   Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity Current liabilities: Short-term borrowings $ 75,000 $ — Current portion of long-term debt 16,200 16,200 Accounts payable 719,175 627,657 Accrued liabilities 271,262 271,989 Income taxes   7,753   48,169 Total current liabilities 1,089,390 964,015   Long-term debt 516,207 233,800 Other liabilities 263,245 268,362 Deferred income taxes 104,608 31,569 Commitments and contingencies   Shareholders' equity: Preferred stock, $1 par; authorized and — — unissued 500,000 shares Common stock, $.10 par; authorized 11,897 14,702 600,000,000 shares Capital in excess of par 243,414 255,971 Retained earnings 941,572 1,720,400 Accumulated other comprehensive loss (6,697) (8,494) Common stock held in treasury, at cost   (42,485)   (753,311) Total shareholders' equity   1,147,701   1,229,268   Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$3,121,151$2,727,014   *Certain reclassifications of the amounts for fiscal 2011 have been made to conform to the presentation for fiscal 2012.   FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS(Unaudited)       For the First Quarter Ended*(in thousands)November 26, 2011November 27, 2010 Cash flows from operating activities: Net income $ 80,350 $ 74,315 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities: Depreciation and amortization 49,135 43,992 Deferred income taxes 28,595 802 Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation (10,572 ) (3,599 ) Stock-based compensation 5,423 5,113 Loss on disposition of property and equipment, 7,173 3,223 including impairment Changes in operating assets and liabilities: Merchandise inventories (146,917 ) (110,444 ) Prepayments and other current assets (5,953 ) (12,164 ) Other assets 616 (5,066 ) Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (54,325 ) (80,222 ) Income taxes 5,924 29,722 Other liabilities   (6,172 )   14,108     (46,723 )   (40,220 )   Cash flows from investing activities: Purchases of investment securities (12,182 ) (19,128 ) Sales of investment securities 68,592 86,286 Capital expenditures (130,862 ) (38,918 ) Proceeds from dispositions of property and equipment   96     141     (74,356 )   28,381     Cash flows from financing activities: Revolving credit facility borrowings 173,000 36,000 Repayment of revolving credit facility borrowings (98,000 ) (36,000 ) Payment of debt issuance costs — (2,912 ) Repayment of long-term debt (16,200 ) — Repurchases of common stock (27,435 ) (257,784 ) Change in cash overdrafts 41,819 (17,931 ) Proceeds from exercise of employee stock options 20,752 8,926 Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation 10,572 3,599 Payment of dividends   (21,128 )     (20,192 )   83,380       (286,294 )   Net change in cash and cash equivalents (37,699 ) (298,133 ) Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   141,405     382,754   Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 103,706   $ 84,621     *Certain reclassifications of the amounts for fiscal 2011 have been made to conform to the presentation for fiscal 2012.   FAMILY DOLLAR STORES, INC., AND SUBSIDIARIESSelected Additional Information       NET SALES BY CATEGORY:For the First Quarter EndedNovember 26,November 27,(in thousands)20112010% Change Consumables $1,509,536 $1,355,453 11.4 % Home products 246,000 253,036 -2.8 % Apparel and accessories 186,214 192,812 -3.4 % Seasonal and electronics 206,537   195,640   5.6 % TOTAL $2,148,287 $1,996,941 7.6 %     STORES IN OPERATION:For the First Quarter EndedNovember 26,November 27,20112010 Beginning Store Count 7,023 6,785 New Store Openings 101 85 Store Closings (4 ) (18 ) Ending Store Count 7,120 6,852 Total Square Footage (000s) 60,846 58,455 Total Selling Square Footage (000s) 50,760 48,721 Family Dollar Stores, Inc.INVESTOR CONTACT:Kiley F. Rawlins, CFA704-849-7496krawlins@familydollar.comorMEDIA CONTACT:Josh Braverman704-814-3447jbraverman@familydollar.com