By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Investment Weekly News -- Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) reported that for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 ended May 31, 2014, net sales increased 3.3% to $2.66 billion. Net income per diluted share for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was $0.71. Adjusted third quarter fiscal 2014 net income per diluted share was $0.85 as compared to $1.05 in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. This year's adjusted fiscal third quarter results exclude the negative impact on diluted net income per common share of $0.14 related to the Company's restructuring initiatives as part of its previously announced strategic actions to strengthen its value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance. The tables included in this press release provide a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures.
"We are executing our previously announced restructuring initiatives to improve our performance," said Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO. "Our recent investment to permanently lower prices is resonating with customers; we are seeing savings from our workforce optimization efforts; and we are on track to close approximately 370 underperforming stores by the end of the fiscal year. We remain confident that these steps will position the Company to improve our financial performance and deliver higher long-term shareholder returns." Third Quarter Results "Our results continue to reflect the economic challenges facing our core customer and an intense competitive environment," continued Levine. "We are pleased that our comparable store sales results in the third quarter in all four merchandise categories improved relative to our second quarter results. Although our sales results remain below our expectations, we are encouraged by the improving trends."
Net sales for the third quarter ended May 31, 2014, increased 3.3% to $2.66 billion from $2.57 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 ended June 1, 2013. Comparable store sales for the 13-week period decreased 1.8% as a result of fewer customer transactions, partially offset by an increase in the average customer transaction value. Sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 were strongest in the Consumables category, driven primarily by strong growth in refrigerated/frozen food and tobacco.
Gross profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was $910.9 million or 34.3% of net sales. During the quarter, the Company implemented a series of restructuring initiatives, including plans to close approximately 370 underperforming stores across the chain by the end of fiscal 2014. As a result, the Company incurred a $1.5 million inventory write-down in an effort to sell through merchandise at stores scheduled to close.
Excluding the inventory write-down, adjusted third quarter fiscal 2014 gross profit increased 2.2% to $912.3 million, or 34.3% of net sales, compared to $892.5 million, or 34.7% of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. As a percentage of sales, the impact on gross profit of stronger sales of lower-margin consumables, lower markups and higher markdowns was partially offset by lower inventory shrinkage.
Selling, general and administrative expenses ("SG&A"), as a percentage of net sales, were 28.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to 27.4% in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Most expenses were deleveraged as a result of the decrease in comparable store sales. As a percentage of net sales, the impact on SG&A of higher store occupancy, labor and advertising costs was partially offset by lower incentive compensation expenses.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company incurred a $23.0 million charge as part of its previously announced restructuring initiatives including planned store closures and workforce optimization. This restructuring charge consisted primarily of property and equipment impairments and termination benefits directly associated with the store closings and workforce optimization.
Operating profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was $120.8 million. As discussed above, the Company's third quarter fiscal 2014 operating profit includes $24.5 million of charges related to the Company's restructuring activities. Excluding the charges, adjusted third quarter fiscal 2014 operating profit was $145.3 million, or 5.5% of net sales, compared with $188.4 million, or 7.3% of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2013.
The effective tax rate was 33.1% for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared with 36.2% for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. The effective tax rate was lower primarily due to foreign tax benefits associated with the Company's global sourcing efforts and increased tax benefits associated with federal jobs tax credits.
Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was $81.1 million. Adjusted third quarter fiscal 2014 net income was $96.5 million as compared to $120.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2013.
The Company's merchandise inventories as of May 31, 2014, were $1.59 billion compared with $1.47 billion as of June 1, 2013. Average inventory per store at the end of the quarter was 2.1% higher than the average inventory per store at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013.
During the third quarter of fiscal 2014, the Company opened 111 new stores, closed 3 stores, and renovated, relocated or expanded 266 stores.
In the 39-week period ended May 31, 2014, capital expenditures were $307.2 million compared with $599.7 million in the 40-week period ended June 1, 2013. During the 39-week period, the Company spent $106.5 million related to new stores; $92.9 million on its store renovation program; $50.6 million on existing stores; $37.0 million related to corporate and technology investments; and $20.2 million on supply chain investments.
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