Dollar General Q1 profit inches up

Stock recovers recently lost ground as Dreiling, team stick to full-year guidance

Discount retail giant Dollar General posted first-quarter earnings of $222 million, up about 1 percent from the year before, as winter weather, stronger competition and overall economic queasiness hurt sales. Per diluted share, profits came in at 72 cents versus 67 cents.

Revenues at Goodlettsville-based Dollar General checked in for the quarter at $4.52 billion, up almost 7 percent from a year earlier. Same-store sales rose 1.5 percent, a slight increase from 1.3 percent in the prior quarter. Operating margins slipped to 8.4 percent from 9.3 percent a year ago.

Chairman, President and CEO Rick Dreiling said the company is seeing much better strength from both its consumable and non-consumable categories this quarter. On top of that, he said the company is "sharpening" its price points to stay top of mind with consumers watching their budgets.

"We are starting to see our initiatives gain traction, albeit a little later than anticipated," Dreiling said.

At about 1:45 p.m., shares of Dollar General (Ticker: DG) were up about 4 percent to $56.45. They have lost about 6 percent of their value year to date.

Later this year, the company said it will roll out a platform to accept digital coupons in partnership with Coupons.com. A pilot program comprising 1,000 stores will launch in the next few weeks with the national rollout planned for October.