Dollar Tree, citing tariffs, cuts outlook and shares plunge
Chesapeake, Va. – Dollar Tree reported weak third quarter profits and trimmed its full-year guidance citing higher tariffs.
Dollar Tree said if fully implemented, the tariffs will increase their costs by $19 million in the fourth quarter, or 6 cents per share. The discount retailer estimates earnings per share for next quarter to be in the range of $1.70 to $1.80.
The company expects full-year earnings to be $4.66 to $4.76 per share, down from previous guidance of between $4.90 and $5.11.
Shares slumped 17% Tuesday.
“We are planning to continue efforts to mitigate ongoing and potential new levels of tariffs as we head into 2020,” said CEO Gary Philbin.
The U.S.-China trade stalemate has led to higher costs across a number of industries, including retail. Retailers must weigh whether to eat those costs or pass them onto consumers, which can be risky. But some stores that have absorbed rising costs have said that if the next round of tariffs goes into place, they will start hiking prices.
On Tuesday, China said key officials have spoken to U.S. trade representatives and agreed to more talks aimed at reaching a deal. The tariff war between China and the U.S. has prompted some manufacturers to delay purchases and investment. The two countries have been working on a “Phase 1” deal that was announced Oct. 12 but still isn’t final.
Dollar Tree is also still working to integrate its Family Dollar businesses, acquired in 2015 for almost $9 billion. The company has closed hundreds of Family Dollar stores and is in the process of rebranding some, and renovating others.
Dollar Tree reported profit of $255.8 million for the third quarter, or $1.08 per share, falling 4 cents short of Wall Street expectations, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.
The Chesapeake, Virginia, company posted revenue of $5.75 billion, slightly better than the projections of industry analysts.
For the current quarter ending in January, Dollar Tree said it expects revenue in the range of $6.33 billion to $6.44 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $6.39 billion.
The company said it expected full-year revenue to be between $23.62 billion and $23.74 billion, up from a previous expected range of $23.57 billion and 23.79 billion.
Even with the sharp decline Tuesday, Dollar Tree shares are still up about 12% in the last 12 months.