Investors in the dollar-story sector shouldn't panic on the basis of Wal-Mart Stores' move last week to lower its fourth-quarter sales and profits guidance, Avondale Partners analyst Mark Montagna wrote Friday. The world's biggest retailer cited both food-stamp cuts and this winter's series of storms as hurting its business, but Montagna doesn't see Goodlettsville-based Dollar General or its main rival, Family Dollar, suffering in sympathy. If anything, he says, the winter storms will actually help dollar stores because they are typically closer to shoppers' homes. "This could drive higher average baskets, increased traffic, and increase the new customer count," Montagna says.
Dollar General (Ticker: DG) closed Friday at $56.32. The shares are down slightly over the past three months, but Montagna sees them climbing to $67 in the coming quarters.
It took a few hours, but investors took a real liking to Dollar General shares Thursday, pushing them higher by 3 percent after rival Family Dollar reported disappointing results, lowered its outlook and said goodbye to its COO. Family Dollar's same-store sales fell 2.8 percent during the quarter, a sharp contrast to Dollar General's recently reported fiscal third quarter, during which same-store sales rose every week. Investors took it a little easier on Family Dollar late in the day, but it was clear the market views Goodlettsville-based Dollar General (Ticker: DG) as leading the pack in early 2014.
Some perspective from flyonthewall.com:
WHATS NOTABLE: During the company's first quarter earnings conference call, the company said it was "not happy" with its first quarter results and cited an increase in competition from rivals such as Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Dollar General (DG) as a reason for the Q1 loss. It also cited a decrease in core lower-income customers due to the challenging financial market as another reason for the quarter's lower than expected outcome. In hindsight, the company said it would have made a different decision instead of limited assortment and layout changes in fiscal-year 2013, given the deteriorating customer trends.
SEE ALSO: Dollar General hits all-time high on Q3 report from last month
December sales at Nissan came in at more than 96,000, a jump of 11.4 percent from 2012, on the back of strong gains for the big-selling Sentra, Rogue and Maxima models. (Infiniti sales climbed almost 5 percent.) For the year, Franklin-based Nissan sold a record 1.25 million cars, which was 9.4 percent more than in 2012.
If the economy really is set to pick up steam in 2014, consumers will have to get out and open their wallets some more. A key National Restaurant Association index suggests they just might be ready to do that: In November, the trade group's Restaurant Performance Index clocked in at its highest point since June. The expectations component of the index has now been positive for more than a year.
Nissan's November sales were up 10.7 percent from a year ago to 106,528, with both the Nissan and Infiniti brands setting records for the month. The Franklin-based car maker outpaced the industry's 8.9 percent growth from a year ago but lagged the growth at General Motors and Chrysler. The company's sales are now up 9.2 percent for the year.
Genesco shares (Ticker: GCO) took a 3 percent hit Monday after Piper Jaffray analyst Stephanie Wissink downgraded them to 'neutral' from 'overweight.' We couldn't find any details as to why Wissink made her move, but we're guessing it's a post-Black Friday reaction along the lines of her Canaccord Genuity peer Camilo Lyon. Assessing consumers' holiday behavior, Lyon said apparel retailers appeared to have to dish out deep discounts to lure buyers. But athletic retailers, he added, seemed to fare better — presumably at the expense of more fashion-oriented Genesco.
Analysts at Howard Weil have begun covering the limited partner interests of Delek Logistics with an 'outperform' rating and a price target of $36. The company (Ticker: DKL) opened trading Monday at $30.01 and climbed more than 3 percent to finish a penny below $31.
A survey of shoppers by Placed showed that Dollar General and rivals Dollar Tree and Big Lots were among the most frequented retailers on Thanksgiving Day, which is accounting for ever more holiday spending dollars. And did the deep discounters fare as well as on Black Friday? Not surprisingly, not at all.