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Dollar Tree's 4Q profit falls on lower sales

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2014 at 10:54 am •  Published: February 26, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dollar Tree Inc. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income fell nearly 7 percent as severe weather and a shorter holiday selling period hurt the discount retailer's sales.

Its results for the quarter and its forecast for full year 2014 fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The Chesapeake, Va., company earned $213 million, or $1.02 per share, for the period ended Feb. 1. That's down from $228.6 million, or $1.01 per share, in the year-ago period that included an extra week.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.05 per share.

Revenue fell less than one percent to $2.23 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $2.28 billion.

Sales at established stores rose more than a percent. That comparison is a key gauge of a retailer's health. It excludes the volatility associated with stores that recently opened or closed.

"It was a challenging quarter best characterized as a short selling season, and persistently bad weather," CEO Bob Sasser said in a conference call with investors. "We had a great plan that was well executed. When the stores were open and customers could shop, our results were more accurately reflective of the underlying strength of our business."

The top-performing categories during the quarter included products at the checkout counter, frozen and refrigerated products, stationary, candy and party supplies.

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