Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Dollar General (NYSE:DG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Although shares of Dollar General have risen and outpaced the industry in the past three months, they may derail in the near future. In spite of reporting decent third-quarter fiscal 2018 results, management trimmed fiscal 2018 earnings view citing "greater-than-anticipated expenses" related to hurricanes and higher transportation costs. Moreover, any deleverage in SG&A rate might impact margins. Also, increasing threat from online retailers on parameters such as pricing cannot be ignored. Not to forget, a cut in SNAP benefit may also weigh on the performance. Nevertheless, better pricing, private label offering, effective inventory management, and merchandise and operational initiatives bode well. These along with a compelling store growth story at convenient locations and focus on consumable products provides an edge. Contribution from new outlets and comparable-store sales growth favorably impacted the top line.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on DG. Credit Suisse Group set a $108.00 price objective on shares of Dollar General and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. ValuEngine cut Dollar General from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 5th. Citigroup decreased their price target on Dollar General from $133.00 to $120.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 10th. Morgan Stanley set a $115.00 price target on Dollar General and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 26th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Dollar General to $123.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $111.58.

NYSE DG opened at $119.00 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $31.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.72. Dollar General has a 52 week low of $85.54 and a 52 week high of $120.33. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, December 4th. The company reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.26. The business had revenue of $6.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.38 billion. Dollar General had a net margin of 7.24% and a return on equity of 24.03%. The company’s revenue was up 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Dollar General will post 6.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 22nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 8th were given a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, January 7th. Dollar General’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.84%.

In other news, EVP Robert D. Ravener sold 32,492 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.63, for a total transaction of $3,627,081.96. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,307 shares in the company, valued at $3,718,060.41. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of DG. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC increased its position in shares of Dollar General by 96.4% in the fourth quarter. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC now owns 271 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,000 after purchasing an additional 133 shares during the last quarter. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC bought a new position in shares of Dollar General in the fourth quarter worth approximately $30,000. Whittier Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Dollar General by 66.3% in the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 291 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 116 shares during the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new position in shares of Dollar General in the fourth quarter worth approximately $35,000. Finally, Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC increased its position in shares of Dollar General by 282.0% in the fourth quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 382 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 282 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 99.48% of the company’s stock.

About Dollar General

Dollar General Corp. engages in retailing of merchandise, including consumables, seasonal, home products, and apparel. Its brands include Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo The company was founded by J. L.

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