It appears Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos looked at the stock purchases made early this month by two of the retailer's directors and thought they were a good idea. Last Thursday, Vasos spent more than $300,000 to add 4,300 shares to his holdings, which are now worth $4.2 million. Dollar General (Ticker: DG) closed Monday at about $69 and have slid from more than $80 in the past month.
Dollar General's board members appear to be a bunch of true believers. A couple of days after AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes spent about $370,000 to pad his stake in Dollar General following the stock's slip in the wake of the company's Q2 earnings, fellow director Michael Calbert followed suit — and then some. Calbert, a former KKR executive who joined Dollar General's board when the investment firm bought the company (Ticker: DG) in 2007, early this week spent more than $2.7 million to more than triple his stake in Goodlettsville-based Dollar General. Check out his filing here.
Just about all of our reports on noteworthy stock trades by local public-company insiders have them booking juicy profits. But every once in a while, we get to draw attention to an investment that signals a big vote of confidence. So it is here with Bill Rhodes, the CEO of AutoZone and a director of Dollar General: A trust set up by Rhodes, who has been on the Dollar General board since 2009, last week spent $370,000 to buy 5,000 shares of the discount retailer, growing his total (direct and indirect) holdings to more than 27,000 shares. The move came after Dollar General (Ticker: DG) slipped from above $80 to the mid-$70s amid broader market trumoil and in the wake of its Q2 profit report.
Following Dollar General's second-quarter earnings report, UBS' Michael Lasser has taken a sanguine tone that is similar to that of a number of other analysts. In reiterating his 'buy' rating and $85 target for Dollar General (Ticker: DG), Lasser says CEO Todd Vasos and his team still have a number of ways to hit their profit growth goals.
From here, even if the company's algorithm rests on a longer-term comp that hovers around the 3% range, we think it can still produce mid-teens EPS growth with optionality to the upside. We would use the pullback as an opportunity.
A number of analysts have tweaked their price targets for shares of Dollar General following the company’s second-quarter profit report, which investors met with a good bit of antipathy. Most of the Street moves so far have been positive, though: Scott Ciccarelli at RBC Capital has taken his target to $88 from $86 — Dollar General (Ticker: DG) is changing hands this morning around $74 — and Matt Boss at JPMorgan Chase is even more upbeat, having taken his target to $90 from $87.
Paul Trussell at Deutsche Bank is a little less upbeat — even though he is keeping his ‘buy’ rating — and has tweaked his target to $84 from $85. And Meredith Adler at Barclays is even less optimistic. She has an ‘equal weight’ rafting on Dollar General and, with a $76 target (up from $74), still sees the stock going nowhere for a while.
Outgoing Dollar General CFO David Tehle late last week cashed in some of his stock holdings. The 58-year-old, who will step down in a few weeks, exercised about 23,000 options that would have expired between 2022 and 2024, paying between $45 and $58 to do so. He then sold more than 36,000 shares — almost three-fourths of this total holdings — for an average of almost $78 per share. Tehle's take from the transactions was almost $1.7 million.
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