Dollar General Corp.’s stock

rose 1.9% early Thursday, after the discount retailer beat third-quarter earnings estimates and backed its guidance, even as its CEO said it was not happy with its performance. The company posted net income of $276.2 million, or $1.26 a share, for the third quarter, down from $526.2 million, or $2.33 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 2.4% to $9.694 billion from $9.465 billion a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.20 and sales of $9.644 billion. Same-store sales fell 1.3%, while FactSet was expecting a 2.1% decline. “While we are not satisfied with our financial results for the third quarter, including a significant headwind from inventory shrink, we are pleased with the momentum in some of the underlying sales trends, including positive customer traffic, as well as market share gains in both dollars and units,” CEO Todd Vasos said in a statement. Vasos returned to the role of CEO in October, after serving in the position from June 2015 to November 2022. Vasos said the company has completed a review of all aspects of the business and identified key areas for improvement both in the near and longer term. For fiscal 2024, it is planning about 2,385 real estate projects, including 800 new stores, 1,500 remodels, and 85 relocations. “This is a modest slow down compared to the number of projects in recent years, which we believe is prudent in this environment,” he said. Dollar General backed its full-year guidance, for a sales increase of 1.5% to 2.5%, and for EPS of $7.10 to $7.60. The company expects same-store sales to be down 1% to flat. The stock is down 45.6% in the year to date, while the S&P 500

has gained 19%.

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