Analyst Michael Baker says the 33 cents first quarter earnings per share was a penny ahead of both his and the Street's estimates. The upside was driven by strong gross margin. As suspected, comparison sales for the month of December are progressing at the low end of management's 3%-5% plan, but Baker notes this could be viewed upon favorably by the market as some on Wall Street suspected that December comparison sales were at a below-plan level.
Baker says recent weakness to below-trend comparison sales creates a buying opportunity. He says Family Dollar remains his favorite idea. Baker reiterates his $34 target.