Family Dollar Ends Fiscal Year Strong

Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores (NYSE:FDO) recorded fourth-quarter increases in net income and revenue, a result of more shoppers visiting its stores in search of bargains.

The general merchandiser achieved growth by opening more stores and lining its shelves with a new variety of products. As a result, Family Dollar reported earnings of $80.9 million, or 69 cents per share, for the recently ended fourth quarter. Those numbers are up from the $79.8 million, or 66 cents per share, the company earned over that same period last year. If it weren’t for a litigation settlement with a group of employees, earnings would have met Wall Street’s expectations of 75 cents per share.

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Family Dollar Stores offered shoppers tobacco products, magazines, and gift cards for the first time during the past fiscal year. The company also enjoyed a 16.1 percent sales increase in consumables – items like food and beauty products – the discounter’s largest category.

Despite such recent successes, expectations for the present first quarter are more modest. The company forecasted earnings in the range of 69 cents to 78 cents per share, signaling the possibility of missing the analysts’ average estimate of 77 cents per share.

Continued growth plans for the fiscal 2013-year are expected to raise costs, as well. Family Dollar predicted capital expenditures of up to $650 million dollars, up from the $603.3 million it spent in 2012 and $345.3 million in 2011.

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