Do you buy this argument? Dollar Tree
Competitor Family Dollar
So let's greet this argument with some skepticism. Gasoline prices may be limiting travel, but they aren't causing everyone's sales to shrink at stores that have been open for more than a year. Still, higher freight costs and lower comps did contribute to a 0.9% drop in operating margins (to 6.1%), and net income followed, falling 7.8%.
Dollar Tree also updated the fiscal-year revenue and earnings guidance that it had released in the first quarter. Expected revenue is dropping from a range of $3.34 billion to $3.42 billion to a span of $3.33 billion to $3.38 billion. Expected earnings are being cut from $1.61 to $1.72 to a range of $1.57 to $1.66 a share.
What Dollar Tree is doing right is controlling costs. Selling, general, and administrative expenses fell 0.7% to 27.9% of sales in the latest quarter, while inventories fell 2.9% thanks to better inventory management.
At the high end of guidance, the stock is trading for 14.1 times forward earnings. Analysts still expect the company to grow earnings by 14.5% annually over the next five years. If they are right, the stock is very reasonably priced. However, given the divergent same-store-sales trend, I do not find this stock attractive in the current market environment.