Shares of Dollar General rose nearly 4 percent Friday morning to an all-time high on the heels of the retailer’s first-quarter results.
Goodlettsville-based Dollar General has been one of the retail winners during the COVID-19 pandemic — Tractor Supply in Brentwood is another — and this week reported that same-store sales in the three months ended May 1 rose nearly 22 percent and operating profits soared nearly 70 percent from the mark of a year earlier to $867 million.
Dollar General typically does very well in rough economic times as more consumers — particularly in the more rural areas where the company has three-quarters of its stores — seek out its lower-priced lineup. Executives said Thursday that both their customer count and the average transaction amount rose during their first quarter and that growth was pretty consistent across geographic regions. Growth has continued to be strong in May although it has been a little more spotty in recent days as more competitors reopen their doors and the initial effects of federal aid for consumers begins to wear off.
At about 11 a.m. Friday, shares of Dollar General (Ticker: DG) were changing hands around $191.70, up 4.1 percent on the day. Earlier in the session, they briefly topped $192 to set a new high. The company’s market value is now more than $48 billion.
As have their peers at Tractor Supply, Dollar General leaders bumped the pay of many of their employees as the pandemic stressed its store and supply chain operations. In all, those investments totaled $60 million during the quarter.