Q2 2014 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/10/2014

Operator: Good morning. My name is Rebecca, and I will be your conference facilitator today. I would like to welcome everyone to the Family Dollar Earnings Conference Call.

All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the Company's prepared remarks, there will be a brief question-and-answer period. The question-and-answer queue will not be available until after the Company has concluded their prepared remarks. So, please wait until after the speakers have finished their remarks before attempting to enter the queue.

I would now like to introduce Ms. Kiley Rawlins, Vice President of Investor Relations and Communications. Ms. Rawlins, you may begin your conference.

Kiley F. Rawlins - IR: Thank you, Rebecca, and good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Hopefully, you've had a chance to review the press release we issued this morning. Before we begin, you should know that our comments today will include forward-looking statements regarding various operating initiatives, sales and profitability metrics, store closings and capital expenditures, as well as, our expectations for future financial performance. While these statements address plans or events, which we expect will or may occur in the future, a number of factors, as set forth in our SEC filings and press releases, could cause actual results to differ from our expectations.

We refer you to and specifically incorporate the cautionary and risk statements contained in today's press release and in our SEC filings. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today, April 10, 2014. We have no obligation to update or revise our forward-looking statements except as required by law and you should not expect us to do so. In addition, the amounts and timings of all estimates we discuss today are subject to change. The actual amounts and timing may vary materially based on various factors including the timing of store closings, the timing and amount of sub-lease income and other lease expense, factors relating to real estate including sale proceeds, asset write-downs and other factors affecting inventory value, changes in management assumptions and other factors.

We'll begin our call today with some opening comments from Howard Levine, Chairman and CEO. Then Mary Winston, CFO, will review our financial results for the second quarter of fiscal '14 and our outlook for the rest of the year. Following our prepared comments, you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Remember that the queue for the question-and-answer session will not be available until after we have finished our prepared remark.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Howard Levine. Howard?

Howard R. Levine - Chairman and CEO: Thanks Kiley, and good morning, everyone. Today, we reported our second quarter results and also announced a number of key strategic initiatives that we were implementing to improve profitability and shareholder returns.

I'll begin my discussion today with a brief overview of the second quarter and then I'll discuss these actions in further detail. This morning, we reported the second quarter earnings per diluted share were $0.80 and the comp store sales declined 3.8%. Mary will provide more details about the quarter in a moment, but clearly, these results did not meet our expectations.

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