Family Dollar shares fall on bleak outlook

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Family Dollar Stores fell Thursday after the company reported a lower quarterly profit and cut its earnings forecast for the year, citing factors including a "challenged consumer."

The company, which has more than 8,000 discount stores, said sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.8 percent during the period ending Nov. 30. The decline came as customers made fewer purchases and spent less on average per transaction.

Additionally, Family Dollar said the sales figure fell 3 percent in December. It noted that it was facing an "intensified promotional environment."

The company also said its president and chief operating officer, Michael Bloom, was leaving to pursue other interests.

For the quarter, Family Dollar said it earned $78 million, or 68 cents per share. That's a penny less than analysts expected.

A year ago, the company earned $80.3 million, or 69 cents per share.

Net sales for the period 3 percent to $2.5 billion, shy of the $2.51 billion Wall Street had forecast, according to FactSet.

For the year, the company said it expects earnings to be between $3.25 and $3.55 per share. It had previously forecast earnings between $3.80 and $4.15 per share.

The company's stock was down more than 7 percent at $61.40 in premarket trading.

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