A chorus of analysts are out with model tweaks following the Q1 earnings miss from Dollar General. Surprisingly, not all of them are negative: Both Citigroup's Deborah Weinswig and Barclays Capital's Meredith Adler have actually raised their price targets — Weinswig to a Street-high $49. Over at hometown-based Avondale Partners, Mark Montagna isn't as sanguine. He has reiterated his 'outpeform' rating but lowered his Q2 EPS estimates by 4 percent and his target to $37 from $39. He expects the merchandise hiccup that caused Goodlettsville-based Dollar General to take big markdowns and a one-time charge in the first quarter will be digested by late this summer.
Apparel markdowns were taken to reduce winter fashions and transition to a very basic apparel assortment for adults while raising kids apparel to 50% of the department space from 20%. By the outset of 3Q11, the apparel merchandise should have fully transitioned what we regard as consumable apparel.
Fewer people are using their doctors so far this year, and Credit Suisse analyst Charles Boorady says that's a good thing for health insurers. He says Aetna and Cigna should produce low medical loss ratios this quarter and show signs that pricing is holding up fine. That should — my words, not Boorady's — bode well for local Medicare Advantage specialist HealthSpring, which blew the doors off with its Q1 numbers. Shares of Franklin-based HealthSpring (Ticker: HS) are up about 60 percent this year.