Dollar General Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) today reported financial results for its fiscal year 2021 third quarter (13 weeks) ended October 29, 2021.

1 Same-store sales on a two-year stack basis represents the sum of the Q3 2021 same-store sales decrease and the Q3 2020 same-store sales increase.

“We are pleased with our third quarter results, and I want to thank our associates for their unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of our customers, communities, and each other,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer. “During the quarter, we made meaningful progress advancing our key initiatives, while continuing to successfully deliver for our customers, despite a challenging operating environment.

“We are excited today to announce our real estate growth plans for fiscal year 20222, which consist of nearly 3,000 real estate projects in total, including 1,110 new stores. These plans include the acceleration of our pOpshelf store concept, as we expect to nearly triple our store count next year. Importantly, given the sustained and positive performance of our pOpshelf concept, we plan to further accelerate the pace of new store openings as we move ahead, targeting a total of approximately 1,000 pOpshelf locations by fiscal year end 20253.

“We are also excited to announce our plans to expand our footprint internationally for the first time, with plans to open up to ten stores in Mexico by the end of fiscal 2022, as we continue to lay the foundation for future growth.

“Overall, we remain focused on our mission of Serving Others, and are confident in our plans to drive long-term sustainable growth and value for our shareholders.”
Fiscal year 2022 is the 53-week fiscal year ending February 3, 2023.
Fiscal year 2025 is the 52-week fiscal year ending January 30, 2026.

Third Quarter 2021 Highlights
Net sales increased 3.9% to $8.5 billion in the third quarter of 2021 compared to $8.2 billion in the third quarter of 2020. The net sales increase was primarily driven by positive sales contributions from new stores, partially offset by a slight decline in same-store sales and the impact of store closures. Same-store sales decreased 0.6% compared to the third quarter of 2020, driven by a decline in customer traffic, partially offset by an increase in average transaction amount. Same-store sales in the third quarter of 2021 included a decline in the apparel and seasonal categories, partially offset by growth in the consumables and home products categories.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 30.8% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 31.3% in the third quarter of 2020, a decrease of 57 basis points. This gross profit rate decrease was primarily attributable to an increased LIFO provision, increased transportation costs, a greater proportion of sales coming from the consumables category, which generally has a lower gross profit rate than other product categories, and an increase in inventory damages. These factors were partially offset by higher inventory markups and a reduction in inventory shrink as a percentage of net sales.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) as a percentage of net sales were 22.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 21.9% in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 105 basis points. The primary expenses that represented a greater percentage of net sales in the current year period were retail labor, store occupancy costs, depreciation and amortization, repairs and maintenance, employee benefits, and supplies, partially offset by a reduction in miscellaneous Covid-related expenses.

Operating profit for the third quarter of 2021 decreased 13.9% to $665.6 million compared to $773.1 million in the third quarter of 2020. The third quarter of 2020 included approximately $38 million of incremental investments the Company made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily driven by $25 million in frontline employee appreciation bonuses, as well as measures taken to further protect the health and safety of employees and customers.

The effective income tax rate in the third quarter of 2021 was 22.2% compared to 21.6% in the third quarter of 2020. This higher effective income tax rate was primarily due to a reduced benefit associated with share-based compensation, an increase in uncertain tax positions and changes in the state effective tax rate, partially offset by a greater benefit associated with federal tax credits.

The Company reported net income of $487.0 million for the third quarter of 2021, a decrease of 15.2% compared to $574.3 million in the third quarter of 2020. Diluted EPS decreased 10.0% to $2.08 for the third quarter of 2021 compared to diluted EPS of $2.31 in the third quarter of 2020.

Merchandise Inventories
As of October 29, 2021, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $5.3 billion compared to $5.0 billion as of October 30, 2020, a decrease of 0.1% on a per-store basis.

Capital Expenditures
Total additions to property and equipment in the 39-week period ended October 29, 2021 were $779 million, including approximately: $384 million for improvements, upgrades, remodels and relocations of existing stores; $184 million for store facilities, primarily for leasehold improvements as well as fixtures and equipment in new stores; $178 million for distribution and transportation related projects; and $33 million for information systems upgrades and technology-related projects. During the third quarter of 2021, the Company opened 268 new stores, remodeled 486 stores and relocated 24 stores.

Share Repurchases
In the third quarter of 2021, the Company repurchased $360 million of its common stock, or 1.6 million shares, at an average price of $220.36 per share, under its share repurchase program. The total remaining authorization for future repurchases was $619 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021. On December 1, 2021, the Company’s Board of Directors increased the authorization under the share repurchase program by $2.0 billion. Under the authorization, repurchases may be made from time to time in open market transactions, including pursuant to trading plans adopted in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or in privately negotiated transactions. The timing, manner and number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including price, market conditions, compliance with the covenants and restrictions under the Company’s debt agreements and other factors. The authorization has no expiration date.

On November 30, 2021, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.42 per share on the Company’s common stock, payable on or before January 18, 2022 to shareholders of record on January 4, 2022. While the Board of Directors intends to continue regular cash dividends, the declaration and amount of future dividends are subject to the sole discretion of the Board and will depend upon, among other things, the Company’s results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions, and other factors the Board may deem relevant in its sole discretion.

Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Guidance and Store Growth Outlook
Significant uncertainty continues to exist regarding the recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on the U.S. economy, consumer behavior and the Company’s business, which makes it difficult for the Company to predict specific financial outcomes for the fiscal year ending January 28, 2022 (“fiscal year 2021”). In addition, such outcomes could be impacted by several variables, which include, but are not limited to, economic recovery, employment levels, COVID-19 vaccine status, continued or additional disruptions to the supply chain, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including new variants of concern and any corresponding governmental measures such as closures of schools or businesses, as well as any potential impacts from the recently issued federal vaccination and testing mandate.
Despite this uncertainty, the Company is updating its financial guidance issued on August 26, 2021 as a result of its strong results in the first three quarters of the year.

For fiscal year 2021, the Company now expects the following: The Company continues to expect capital expenditures, including those related to investments in the Company’s strategic initiatives, in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion.

In addition, the Company continues to expect share repurchases of approximately $2.4 billion, and is reiterating its plans to execute 2,900 real estate projects in fiscal year 2021, including 1,050 new store openings, 1,750 store remodels, and 100 store relocations.
4 Same-store sales on a two-year stack basis represents the sum of actual 2020 same-store sales and the corresponding low and high ends of the 2021 guidance range.
5 Two-year compound annual growth rates utilize 2019 diluted EPS and 2019 Adjusted diluted EPS (see “Non-GAAP Disclosure” herein) as the base.

Fiscal Year 2022 Store Growth Outlook
For fiscal year 2022, the Company plans to execute 2,980 real estate projects, including 1,110 new store openings, 1,750 remodels, and 120 store relocations.

Conference Call Information
The Company will hold a conference call on December 2, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. ET, hosted by Todd Vasos, chief executive officer, Jeff Owen, chief operating officer, and John Garratt, chief financial officer. To participate via telephone, please call (877) 407-0890 at least 10 minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin. The conference ID is 13724545. There will also be a live webcast of the call available at under “News & Events, Events & Presentations.” A replay of the conference call will be available through December 30, 2021, and will be accessible via webcast replay or by calling (877) 660-6853. The conference ID for the telephonic replay is 13724545.

Non-GAAP Disclosure
Adjusted diluted EPS, and its respective growth metric, for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020 has not been derived in accordance with U.S. GAAP, but rather excludes the impact of significant legal expenses associated with wage and hour and consumer/product certified class action litigation and related matters. Due to the nature, infrequency, and financial magnitude of such matters, the Company believes this non-GAAP financial measure provides useful information to investors in assessing the Company’s operating performance as this measure provides an additional relevant comparison of the Company’s operating performance across periods. A reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure to the most directly comparable measure calculated in accordance with GAAP is provided in the accompanying schedules.

The non-GAAP measure discussed above is not a measure of financial performance or condition, liquidity or profitability in accordance with GAAP, and should not be considered as an alternative to diluted EPS or any other measure derived in accordance with GAAP. This non-GAAP measure has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the Company’s financial results as reported in accordance with GAAP. Because not all companies use identical calculations, this presentation may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Forward-looking statements include those regarding the Company’s outlook, strategy, initiatives, plans and intentions including, but not limited to, statements made within the quotation of Mr. Vasos, and in the sections entitled “Share Repurchases,” “Dividend,” “Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Guidance and Store Growth Outlook,” and “Fiscal Year 2022 Store Growth Outlook.” A reader can identify forward-looking statements because they are not limited to historical fact or they use words such as “outlook,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “can,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “target,” “forecast,” “predict,” “position,” “assume,” “opportunities,” “intend,” “continue,” “future,” “ongoing,” “potential,” “long-term,” “guidance,” “goal,” “outcome,” “uncertainty,” “look to,” “move ahead,” “subject to,” “committed,” “confident,” “focus on,” or “likely to,” and similar expressions that concern the Company’s strategies, plans, initiatives, intentions or beliefs about future occurrences or results. These matters involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may change at any time and may cause actual results to differ materially from those which the Company expected. Many of these statements are derived from the Company’s operating budgets and forecasts as of the date of this release, which are based on many detailed assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable. However, it is very difficult to predict the effect of known factors on future results, and the Company cannot anticipate all factors that could affect future results that may be important to an investor. All forward-looking information should be evaluated in the context of these risks, uncertainties and other factors. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by these and other cautionary statements that the Company makes from time to time in its SEC filings and public communications. The Company cannot assure the reader that it will realize the results or developments the Company anticipates or, even if substantially realized, that they will result in the consequences or affect the Company or its operations in the way the Company expects. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. The Company undertakes no obligation, and specifically disclaims any duty, to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. As a result of these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements included herein or that may be made elsewhere from time to time by, or on behalf of, the Company.

Investors should also be aware that while the Company does, from time to time, communicate with securities analysts and others, it is against the Company’s policy to disclose to them any material, nonpublic information or other confidential commercial information. Accordingly, shareholders should not assume that the Company agrees with any statement or report issued by any securities analyst regardless of the content of the statement or report. Furthermore, the Company has a policy against confirming projections, forecasts or opinions issued by others. Thus, to the extent that reports issued by securities analysts contain any projections, forecasts or opinions, such reports are not the Company’s responsibility.

The entire press release including accompanying tables is available by clicking here