Dollar General exceeds estimates with sales rising 17%

Dollar General Corp. – reported stronger than expected earnings in the third quarter on Thursday, with impressive same-store sales growth, but declined to provide updated earnings guidance amid growing pandemic uncertainty.

Dollar General said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in October were set at $ 2.31 per share, up 62.7% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $ 1.96 per share. The group’s revenues, Dollar General said, increased 17.3% to $ 8.2 billion, again exceeding analysts’ forecast of $ 8.13 billion.

High unemployment and falling family income this year due to the COVID-19 crisis boosted demand for cereals, vegetables and other essential products at lower prices, increasing sales at dollar stores.

Strong demand continued in the current quarter, with Dollar General reporting same-store sales growth of around 14% in the period between October 31 and December 1.

Even so, the company did not release a forecast for the rest of the year, like its partner Dollar Tree, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

The shares of Dollar General, which normally sells products for $ 10 or less, have fallen nearly 3% in the pre-market, after rising about 40% so far this year.

Dollar General has stores concentrated in rural areas, which makes them a stopping point for customers – who have few options nearby – to buy everything from home decor, party supplies and everyday essentials.