Dollar Tree's 4Q results fall short, shares plunge

FILE - In this May 26, 2016, file photo, a shopper searches her purse outside a Dollar Tree store in Encinitas, Calif. Dollar Tree, Inc. reports financial results on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)

NEW YORK — Dollar Tree Inc. on Wednesday reported a boost in fourth-quarter sales and profit, but the results fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The discount retailer's stock shed 10 percent of its value in premarket trading.

The Chesapeake, Virginia company's profit tripled to $1.04 billion, or $4.37 per share, on a gain from sweeping tax reforms last year. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.89 per share.

Revenue rose 12.9 percent to $6.36 billion and same-store sales — or sales in stores open at least a year, a key measure of a retailer's health — rose 2.5 percent.

Wall Street expected profit of $1.90 per share on $6.4 billion in revenue and a 2.7 percent rise in same-store sales.

Looking ahead, the company expects to continue benefiting from last year's tax reforms, which significantly lowered its corporate tax rate. It expects to use some gains to raise hourly wages, boost retirement plan offerings and establish a paid maternity leave benefit.

For the current quarter ending in May, Dollar Tree expects revenue in the range of $5.53 billion to $5.63 billion on a low single-digit same-store sales increase. Analysts expect revenue of $5.59 billion.

The company expects full-year earnings to be $5.25 to $5.60 per share, with revenue ranging from $22.7 billion to $23.12 billion.

Dollar Tree shares have dropped nearly 3 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 2 percent. The stock has increased 37 percent in the last 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DLTR at https://www.zacks.com/ap/DLTR

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