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Byline: AMY REEVES
Dollar Tree Stores Inc. is finding out that money doesn't grow on trees.
For some time, this obvious fact seemed to escape the discount retail chain. From 1993 to 2000, its sales grew from $168 million to nearly $1.7 billion while earnings grew apace.
But this year, the economic slowdown and a tough buyout put on the brakes.
"Depressed earnings are coming from (loss of) foot traffic, consumer confidence, all the focus on economic woes," said Chief Executive Macon Brock. "Because of less-than-planned sales, we've not been able to comp our business as we have a zillion quarters prior to this."
The firm also got hit with rising expenses, says analyst Mark Mandel of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.