Family Dollar Stores Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 5, 2012. Family Dollar Stores operates more than 6,600 retail discount stores across the United States, offering consumables, home products, apparel accessories, seasonal and electronics.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 67 cents per share, a rise of 15.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 17% versus last year to $3.65.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it reported net income of 66 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 64 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, it missed forecasts by 3 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 8.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.17 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Family Dollar Stores with 12 of 20 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 8% to $79.8 million (67 cents a share) from $74 million (56 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.1% to $2.13 billion from $1.96 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 6.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 9.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 7.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 8.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 9.5% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), 99 Cents Only Stores (NYSE:NDN), Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST), Gordmans Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMAN), and Amazing Savings, Inc (ODDJ).

Stock Price Performance: During October 5, 2011 to December 30, 2011, the stock price had risen $5.02 (9.5%) from $52.64 to $57.66. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 20, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 7% (+$3.49) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 26, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for 10-straight days, falling 16.9% (-$9.12) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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