Facebook Vice President David Marcus is the face of the company's Libra digital currency, but the original driving force was a 26-year-old female corporate-development...Technologyread more
Amazon's new policy for account suspensions doesn't go far enough to protect sellers from potentially unfair and wrongful suspensions, merchants say.Technologyread more
There is no end in sight to the Boeing 737 Max grounding after two fatal crashes, prompting airlines to rethink their growth plans.Airlinesread more
After a year of flooding, Midwest farmers face a stifling heat wave that's spreading across the U.S.Agricultureread more
A quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings next week, and that could buffet the market as investors await the July Fed meeting.Market Insiderread more
Moving lots of data to a public cloud over the internet can take months or years. CNBC got an inside look at how AWS transfers data to the cloud for its clients.Technologyread more
Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims a British tanker it still holds, Stena Impero, failed to follow international maritime rules.World Newsread more
"It troubles me that the most important political office in the world is becoming the face of racism and exclusion," Kaeser said in a Twitter post.Politicsread more
Silver's rally could be losing its shine after the precious metal reached its year-to-date high, futures experts warn.Futures Nowread more
Some 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay for an emergency expense. Just how are so many Americans so short on cash? Blame debt.Personal Financeread more
Amazon hires Trump-allied lobbyist Jeff Miller as battle for Pentagon contract heats up.Politicsread more
(Adds analyst comment, background; updates shares)
March 14 (Reuters) - Dollar General Corp forecast 2019 profit below analysts' expectations on Thursday as the discount retailer ramps up spending on stores to pull in more customers, sending its shares down more than 7 percent.
As competition heats up in the grocery space with the entry of more online businesses, the company said it would spend about $50 million to improve distribution of fresh and frozen food, shopping convenience and labor productivity.
"Looking ahead, there are some threats on the horizon, rising costs foremost among them," Neil Saunders, managing director of retail research firm GlobalData Retail.
Dollar General also plans to open 975 new stores and remodel 1,000 old ones. Last year, its remodeling focused on adding more refrigeration units and private label brands at its stores, which Saunders said, will drive sales.
"These (initiatives) should help offset the deteriorating cost environment. Even so, we believe profit as a proportion of revenue may slip as sales of lower margin perishables increases," he said. Dollar General said it expects to earn $6.30 to $6.50 per share in fiscal 2019, below the average analyst estimate of $6.65, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.84 per share in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 but missed the average analyst estimate of $1.88, blaming higher transportation cost and lower sales of high-margin products.
However, the company's same-store sales rose 4 percent and beat the 2.6 percent increase analysts had estimated, as its customers, who benefited from an earlier-than-usual distribution of food stamps, spent more on groceries.
Net sales rose 8.5 percent to $6.65 billion and beat analysts' expectations of $6.61 billion.
Shares were trading down at $112 before the opening bell, despite the company raising its quarterly dividend by 10 percent and increasing its share buyback program by $1 billion.
Rival Dollar Tree Inc's shares were down 1.31 percent. The company last week reported better-than-expected same-store sales, but wrote down the value of its Family Dollar chain by $2.7 billion after years of stagnating sales.
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)