Dollar General Presents Earnings

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) stumbled badly on reporting quarterly earnings Thursday.

The discount store chain, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., reported net sales increased 8.5% to $6.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $6.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

This net sales increase included positive sales contributions from new stores and growth in same-store sales, modestly offset by the impact of store closures. The company also pointed with some pride to $1.3 billion returned to shareholders in the fiscal year through share repurchases and cash dividends.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 31.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 32.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

DG reported net income of $483 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $712 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Diluted EPS decreased 30.0% to $1.84 for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to diluted EPS of $2.63 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Said CEO Todd Vasos, "2018 was a great year for Dollar General and we entered 2019 with a strong foundation for success. During the fourth quarter we delivered strong same-store sales growth, driven by performance in both consumable and non-consumable product sales, which resulted in our highest two-year same-store sales stack in 21 quarters.

"Our team is very excited about the future, and I believe we remain well-positioned to continue delivering best-in-class value and convenience to our customers and creating long-term shareholder value."

Shares in DG dropped $9.10, or 7.5%, to $111.59