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Dollar General 1Q profit up as sales improve

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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dollar General's fiscal first-quarter net income edged up 1 percent, with sales climbing and some expenses dropping.

Sales were strong in categories such as tobacco products, perishables and candy and snacks.

Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said in a statement on Tuesday that the results were pressured by bad winter weather, increased competition and current economic conditions. Still, trends improved as the quarter progressed, he said.

The company's shares rose 3 percent in morning trading.

For the period ended May 2, the company earned $222.4 million, or 72 cents per share. That compares with $220.1 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 73 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue increased 7 percent to $4.52 billion from $4.23 billion, but fell short of the $4.56 billion Wall Street forecast.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, rose 1.5 percent on improved customer traffic and an increase in the average transaction amount. This metric excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Dollar General Corp. maintained its guidance for full-year earnings of approximately $3.45 to $3.55 per share and revenue growth of 8 percent to 9 percent. Analysts predict earnings of $3.51 per share.

The company's stock rose $1.65 to $55.95 in morning trading Tuesday. Its shares had been down almost 10 percent so far this year through Monday's close.

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