- Sales Increased 5.0% to $5.64 Billion
- Enterprise Same-Store Sales Increased 1.2%
- Same-Store Sales by Segment: Dollar Tree +2.3%, Family Dollar +0.2%
- Diluted Earnings per Share Increased 40.2% to $1.36 vs. $0.97
- Earnings Include Expenses of $0.03 per Share for Debt Prepayment
CHESAPEAKE, Va., 2017-Mar-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR), North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores, today (March 1, 2017 ) reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 28, 2017.
“We are pleased with our overall performance for fiscal 2016,” stated Bob Sasser, Chief Executive Officer. “For the fourth quarter, both the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners delivered positive growth in same-store sales. Gross margin and operating margin rates improved and EPS grew 40.2% from the prior year’s quarter, exceeding the upper end of our guidance range. For the year, we opened 584 new stores, exceeded $20 billion in sales, delivered record earnings, and continued to make significant progress on our integration of Family Dollar.”
Fourth Quarter Results
Consolidated net sales increased 5.0% to $5.64 billion from $5.37 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Enterprise same-store sales increased 1.2% on a constant currency basis. Adjusted to include the impact of Canadian currency fluctuations, the same-store sales increase was 1.3%. The same-store sales growth was driven by increases in comparable customer count and average ticket. Same-store sales for the Dollar Tree banner increased 2.3% on a constant currency basis (or 2.4% when adjusted to include the impact of Canadian currency fluctuations). Same-store sales for the Family Dollar banner increased 0.2%.
Gross profit increased 9.3% to $1.81 billion in the quarter compared to $1.65 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. As a percent of sales, gross margin increased to 32.1% compared to 30.8% in the prior year. The improvement was driven primarily by lower merchandise and freight costs. The prior year’s fourth quarter included $15.9 million for Family Dollar related to the amortization of the stepped-up inventory basis and $11.5 million for Dollar Tree of planned markdowns associated with re-bannering Deals stores.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were 21.7% of sales compared to 22.0% of sales in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The improvement, as a percent of sales, was driven primarily by lower payroll costs, legal fees and depreciation expense, partially offset by higher store hourly payroll, advertising, and repairs and maintenance expense.
Operating income increased 24.9% to $586.5 million compared with $469.7 million in the same period last year. Operating income margin increased to 10.4% in the current quarter from 8.8% in last year’s quarter. This increase in operating income is the result of a $71.7 million increase in operating income in the Dollar Tree segment and a $45.1 million increase in operating income in the Family Dollar segment.
The Company’s effective tax rate for the quarter was 35.3% compared to 35.0% in the prior year period.
Net income compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter increased $92.8 million, or 40.5%, to $321.8 million, and diluted earnings per share increased to $1.36.
During the quarter, the Company opened 104 stores, expanded or relocated 27 stores, and closed 55 stores. Additionally, the Company opened eight former Family Dollar store locations as new Dollar Treestores. Retail selling square footage at fiscal year-end was approximately 112.4 million square feet.
Full Year Results
Consolidated net sales increased 33.7% to $20.72 billion from $15.50 billion in the prior year. The $5.22 billion increase was the result of $4.42 billion in incremental net sales from the acquired Family Dollar stores, sales from new Dollar Tree stores, and a 1.8% same-store sales increase.
Gross profit increased $1.74 billion, or 37.3%, to $6.39 billion from $4.66 billion in the prior year. Gross margin increased by 70 basis points to 30.8% compared to the prior year period.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were 22.6% of sales compared to 23.3% of sales in the prior year.
Net income increased $613.8 million compared to the prior year, to $896.2 million, resulting in net income of $3.78 per diluted share.
The Company estimates consolidated net sales for the first quarter of 2017 to range from $5.26 billion to $5.35 billion, based on a flat to low single-digit increase in same-store sales for the combined enterprise. Diluted earnings per share are estimated to be in the range of $0.91 to $0.98. This compares to a reported $0.98 per diluted share from the prior year’s first quarter, or $0.89 per diluted share when adjusted for the one-time tax rate benefit of $0.09 per share related to state tax planning.
For fiscal 2017, the Company estimates consolidated net sales will range from $21.94 billion to $22.33 billion. This estimate is based on a flat to low single-digit increase in same-store sales and 3.9% square footage growth. Fiscal 2017 diluted earnings per share are expected to range from $4.20 to $4.56. Fiscal 2017 will include a 53rd week. The extra week, in the fourth quarter, is expected to add $400 million to $430 million to sales and $0.19 to $0.22 to earnings per diluted share, both of which are included in the guidance.
Sasser added, “We believe we are extremely well positioned in the most attractive sector of retail to deliver increased value for our long-term shareholders. Our Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners are each focused on offering great value and convenience to our shoppers. With two great banners, we can effectively grow our store base and serve more customers across a broad geography and a diverse demographic population with the products they need and want. We have a resilient business model, a focused and energized leadership team, a lengthy runway for store growth, and tremendous opportunities to continue improving our businesses.”
Conference Call Information
On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Company will host a conference call to discuss its earnings results at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The telephone number for the call is 800-406-5345. A recorded version of the call will be available until midnight Tuesday, March 7, 2017 and may be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112. The access code is 2781470. A webcast of the call is accessible through Dollar Tree’s website, and will remain online through Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
Dollar Tree, a Fortune 200 Company, operated 14,334 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of January 28, 2017. Stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree Canada. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.
A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: Our press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address future events, developments or results and typically use words such as believe, anticipate, expect, intend, plan, forecast, or estimate. For example, our forward-looking statements include statements regarding first quarter 2017 and full-year 2017 net sales and same-store sales, first quarter 2017 and full-year 2017 diluted earnings per share, square footage growth, the benefits, results, and effects of the merger with Family Dollar, including integration plans and synergies, and future financial and operating results and shareholder value, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations (financial and otherwise) and intentions. For a discussion of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could affect our future events, developments or results, you should carefully review the “Risk Factors,” “Business” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed March 28, 2016, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other sections in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed December 6, 2016 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not obligated to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this report and you should not expect us to do so.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Source: Dollar Tree, Inc.