Since the end of summer, Dollar Tree ($DLTR) has seen shares swoon. From their late 2019 peak, Dollar Tree stock is down about 30%. 

But, with earnings on the way - and armed with some positive data signals - when Dollar Tree announces earnings on March 4, some analysts are bullish for a beat. UBS analysts, which, in a February 28 report, called Dollar Tree a "buy" with "a host of challenges" and "long term potential." 

For each of the last three years, Dollar Tree job postings have slid at year-end - typical of so many retailers - as the chain recalibrated fiscal year plans, in all likelihood. But there are two noteworthy pieces of data we can glean from our chart above. First, Dollar Tree job postings are beginning to spring back to life in 2020, as is typical of each of the past several years' data. 

Secondly - and perhaps it's tied to the next chart - Dollar Tree may have reduced jobs to close out 2019, but the number of jobs it had open, were greater in number than prior years'. That may be due to the fact that it's still growing. 

Dollar Tree's store count is up roughly 8% year over year - and Family Dollar (not shown), its subsidiary, has also grown store count after a brief period of reducing their physical footprint after being bought by Dollar Tree. 

There's one factor that may weigh in Dollar Tree's favor, which some analysts haven't latched onto quite yet. Right now, consumers are buying 'bulk' everything, likely a slight overreaction to the continuing Coronavirus outbreak that threatens both the ill and the ill-prepared. 

In the longer run, should supply chains become threatened by the Coronavirus outbreak, all dollar stores stand to benefit as consumers are forced to pick up cleaning and sanitary products in smaller quantities. 

And, as our map below shows, between the Dollar Tree, and its Family Dollar chain, the retailer could pick up business that big-box stores and supermarkets cannot accommodate. Analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS $1.75 for Dollar Tree. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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