Dollar General’s higher profit tops expectations

GOODLETSVILLE, Tenn., Tue Dec 11, 2012 — Dollar General Corp. on Tuesday posted a bigger-than-expected increase in profit and said it remained cautious about the rest of the year despite an encouraging start to the holiday season.

The discount chain said customer confidence and spending was still under pressure and it faced challenges from competing chains.

While Dollar General’s latest quarter only ran through November 2, the chain said it was encouraged by results from the Thanksgiving weekend that came later in the month and the start of the holiday season.

The discount chain raised the lower end of its 2012 adjusted earnings forecast and slightly trimmed its sales view.

Profit rose to $207.7 million, or 62 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter, from $171.2 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier.

Earnings rose to 63 cents per share, after adjusting for items such as expenses from a secondary offering and debt amendment fees, topping the analysts’ average target of 60 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Dollar General rose 33 cents to $46.90 in premarket trading.