Business Insider/Hayley Peterson
- Dollar General beat on both the top and bottom lines.
- Comparable sales rose 4.3% versus a year ago, boosted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
(Reuters) - Dollar General Corp on Thursday reported better-than-expected comparable sales for the third quarter, as hurricanes led to increased traffic and higher spending at its stores.
Sales at stores open for at least a year rose 4.3 percent, beating the average analysts' estimate of 2.8 percent growth, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The retailer said Hurricanes Harvey and Irma contributed 30-35 basis points to comparable sales growth, while hurting profit by 5 cents per share in the reported quarter.
Except for the second quarter, traffic at Dollar General stores declined over the last year, partly due to reduced food stamp coverage in several U.S. states. This is the first full quarter after a year of food stamp cuts, which began in April 2016.
Net income rose to $252.5 million, or 93 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 3, from $235.3 million, or 84 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 98 cents per share, beating the average analysts' estimate of 94 cents.
Net sales rose 11 percent to $5.90 billion, beating estimates of $5.80 billion.
The retailer's shares, which have gained about 23 percent this year, were up 1.2 percent in premarket trading on Thursday. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)