CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Shares of Dollar Tree were trading down by more than 5% Thursday afternoon after the retailer said sales and earnings would come in near the low end of expectations during its current fiscal quarter.
For the fiscal first quarter ended April 30, the discounter reported that sales increased 11.5% to $1.6 billion, while comparable-store sales increased by 5.6%. Net earnings of $116 million increased 6.7%.
Bob Sasser, chief executive officer of Dollar Tree, in a conference call with analysts Thursday said the addition of coolers for frozen and refrigerated foods continued to increase store visits during the quarter, while food was among the top sales categories. Dollar Tree installed freezers and coolers in 127 stores in the quarter and plans 325 installations for the full year.
“This important category is extremely productive,” Sasser said. “It serves the current needs of our customers, drives traffic into our stores and provides incremental sales across all categories.”
Higher fuel costs are expected to keep Dollar Tree’s current-quarter earnings near the low end of estimates. Officials said they expected quarterly comparable-store sales to increase in the mid-single digits.