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Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. DLTR
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/27/2013

Operator: Thank you for standing by. Good day and welcome to the Dollar Tree Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. As a reminder, today's presentation is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Tim Reid, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead sir.

Timothy J. Reid - VP IR: Thank you, Mike. Good morning and welcome to the Dollar Tree conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Our call today will be led by Bob Sasser, our President and Chief Executive Officer, who will provide insights on our performance in the quarter and recent developments in our business. Kevin Wampler, our Chief Financial Officer, will provide a more detailed review of our fourth quarter financial performance and provide our guidance for 2013.

Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that various remarks that we will make about future expectations, plans and prospects for the Company constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provision under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors included in our most recent press release, most recent current report on Form 8-K, quarterly report on Form 10-Q, and Annual Report on Form 10-K, all of which are on file with the SEC.

We have no obligation to update our forward-looking statements and you should not expect us to do so. At the end of our planned remarks, we will open your call to questions which we asked that you please limit to one question or one follow-up question if necessary.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Bob Sasser, our President and CEO. Bob?

Bob Sasser - President and CEO: Thanks, Tim. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the call and thank you for your continued interest in Dollar Tree. This morning we announce our sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012. I'm pleased to report fourth quarter comparable store sales increased 2.4%, this was on top of a 7.3% increase in the fourth quarter of last year.

This increase was split somewhat evenly between traffic and average ticket with a 1% gain in traffic and 1.4% increase in average basket size. Total sales increased 15.4% to $2.25 billion, anecdotally this was the first $2 billion quarter in the history of the Company and it was as always achieved largely $1 at a time.

In terms of geography, performance in the fourth quarter was relatively consistent across the country as all zones achieved positive comp store sales. The highest comps came from New England and the Midwest, this was followed closely by the Southwest, the Southeast, the Far west and the Mid-Atlantic.

Sales growth in the fourth quarter came from mix of both basic and discretionary products. Our top performing categories include housewares and home products, stationery, healthcare products, part supplies, food and beverages. Comps were positive every month with our strongest performance in December. Earnings for the fourth quarter were $1.01 per share. This represents a 26.3% increase over last year's $0.80 per share.

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