Dollar General (DG) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Dollar General (NYSE:DG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $134.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Dollar General have risen and outpaced the industry in the past six months. The stock may scale new highs with solid prospects, brand recognition and strategic endeavors likely to act as propellants. Better pricing, private label offering, inventory management, and merchandise and operational initiatives should drive sales. These along with focus on consumable and non-consumable categories with impressive comps run are noteworthy. Fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results is the testimony of the same, wherein both sales and earnings per share continue to improve year over year. However, management cautioned on margins going forward. The company expects gross margin to remain under pressure during the first quarter of fiscal 2019. Further, higher SG&A costs due to startup expenses and other investments may hurt margins. Deleverage in gross margin and higher SG&A expenses may strain operating margin in the first half of fiscal 2019.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Dollar General from $121.00 to $133.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Dollar General from $118.00 to $129.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Raymond James set a $127.00 price target on shares of Dollar General and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an outperform rating and issued a $126.00 price target on shares of Dollar General in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, Loop Capital raised shares of Dollar General from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $105.00 to $152.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Dollar General has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $123.35.

NYSE DG opened at $122.05 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $31.50 billion, a PE ratio of 20.44, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 0.19. Dollar General has a 1-year low of $86.87 and a 1-year high of $126.84.

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 14th. The company reported $1.84 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.89 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $6.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.61 billion. Dollar General had a return on equity of 25.04% and a net margin of 6.20%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.48 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Dollar General will post 6.42 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 23rd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, April 9th were issued a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, April 8th. This is a positive change from Dollar General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. Dollar General’s payout ratio is currently 21.44%.

In other Dollar General news, EVP Robert D. Ravener sold 38,659 shares of Dollar General stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.84, for a total transaction of $4,632,894.56. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 39,739 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,762,321.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Robert D. Ravener sold 8,973 shares of Dollar General stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.82, for a total transaction of $1,111,036.86. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,203,253.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 143,255 shares of company stock valued at $17,037,351 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Diversified Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Dollar General by 5.9% during the first quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 10,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,300,000 after purchasing an additional 608 shares in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Dollar General during the first quarter worth $321,000. Hendley & Co. Inc. boosted its position in shares of Dollar General by 4.1% during the first quarter. Hendley & Co. Inc. now owns 28,315 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,378,000 after purchasing an additional 1,105 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in shares of Dollar General by 107.3% during the first quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,909 shares of the company’s stock worth $467,000 after purchasing an additional 2,023 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dixon Hubard Feinour & Brown Inc. VA bought a new position in shares of Dollar General during the first quarter worth $7,801,000. 96.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Dollar General

Dollar General Corporation, a discount retailer, provides various merchandise products in the southern, southwestern, Midwestern, and eastern United States. The company offers consumable products, including paper and cleaning products, such as paper towels, bath tissues, paper dinnerware, trash and storage bags, and laundry and other home cleaning supplies; packaged food comprising cereals, canned soups and vegetables, condiments, spices, sugar, and flour; and perishables that include milk, eggs, bread, refrigerated and frozen food, beer, and wine.

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