Dollar GeneralDiscount retailer Dollar General (DG) reported first-quarter earnings Tuesday, beating Wall Street estimates, as budget-conscious consumers continue to bargain hunt for everyday items.

The company reported net income of $136.0 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.39, compared to net income of $83.0 million, or diluted EPS of $0.26, in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn $0.34 on revenue of $3.03 billion.

Dollar General's revenues increased 11.9% to $3.11 billion in the 2010 first quarter compared to $2.78 billion in the 2009 first quarter.

Discounters Thriving in Recession

The leading dollar retailer, along with rivals Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, has reaped the benefits of the economic downturn as buyers increasingly seek out more bang for the buck.

"Dollar General's first quarter performance marks a great start to the year. Our first quarter sales were ahead of our expectations. Our same-store sales growth of 6.7 percent for the quarter was on top of 13.3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2009," said CEO Rick Dreiling in a press release. The positive results also prompted the company to boost its full-year outlook for 2010.

Additionally, Dollar General said that it plans to open about 600 new stores and to remodel or relocate a total of approximately 500 stores by year's end.

Shares of Dollar General were up 3.5% in premarket trading.

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