(By Balachander) Retailer Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported better-than-forecast Q4 EPS, driven by comparable store sales growth and improvement in margins. However, the operator of discount variety stores issued FY guidance that came in below Street estimates.
Shares jumped 5.28% in Wednesday premarket trading.
For Q4, EPS jumped 26% to $1.01, topping market expectations of 99 cents. Net sales advanced 15.4% to $2.23 billion, also beating consensus estimate of a growth of 14.50%.
Comparable store sales grew 2.4% versus an increase of 7.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Operating margin improved 70 basis points to 16.2% and gross margin expanded 15 basis points.
For Q1, DLTR sees EPS between 53 cents and 58 cents, on sales of $1.84 billion to $1.89 billion. Wall Street analysts', on average, expect EPS of 58 cents on sales of $1.87 billion.
For the full year, the company expects EPS in the range of $2.54 to $2.74 on sales between $7.79 billion and $7.97 billion. Analysts expect EPS of $2.81 on sales of $7.90 billion. DLTR forecasts low single-digit positive comparable-store sales.
DLTR shares, which have been trading in the 52-week range between $37.12 and $56.81, closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $41.08.