(By Balachander) Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, as higher customer traffic drove sales growth and that the discount retailer raised its forecast for the full year.
Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 33 percent to 69 cents, topping consensus estimate of 64 cents. Net earnings jumped 47 percent to $214 million for the second quarter.
Net sales grew 10.4 percent to $3.95 billion, versus Wall Street projections of $3.96 billion.
Same-store sales advanced 5.1 percent, driven by growth in both customer traffic and average transaction amount.
Gross margin dipped slightly to 32.0 percent from 32.1 percent. Operating margin expanded 27 basis points to 9.8 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year ending February 2013, the company currently expects adjusted EPS in the range of $2.77 to $2.85, up from prior outlook of $2.68 to $2.78, while analysts expect $2.81. It now sees same-store sales growth of 4 percent to 5 percent, up from low end of 3 percent growth projected earlier.
The company continues to see total sales growth of 10 to 11 percent on a comparable 52-week basis.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $34.22 and $56.04, ended Tuesday's regular trading session at $50.66.