Same-store sales at Family Dollar inched up in September, meeting the
company's revised expectations but still coming in slightly under analysts'
Sales at Family Dollar stores that are more than a year old rose 0.5 percent in
the month, compared to September 2006. Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates had
expected growth of 0.7 percent.
Family Dollar, which has several locations in the Triangle, originally said that
same-store sales would increase between 1 percent and 3 percent in the month. On
Oct. 4, it revised that estimate, saying revenue for the month was expected to
range from flat to up 1 percent.
Including new stores, year-to-year sales growth was 3.9 percent. Family Dollar
posted revenue of $614.2 million during the five weeks ended Oct. 6.
Matthews-based Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) expects comparable-store sales in
October to increase as much as 2 percent.
The company recently posted earnings figures above analysts' expectations. But
it sounded alarm bells in a conference call, saying that volatile gas prices and
other economic pressures could keep low-income customers away from stores.
Steps such as stocking more perishables and shuffling displays are being taken
to ensure that customers keep coming to stores, the company said.
As of Oct. 6, the company operated 6,438 discount-chain stores in 44 states.
Shares of Family Dollar were up 1 percent in early-morning trading Thursday to