Family Dollar Stores reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, and forecast earnings that should top Wall Street estimates, as the discount retailer got a lift from extended hours, more profitable private label items and higher acceptance of food stamps.

Family Dollar reported net income of $112.2 million, or 81 cents a share, in the second quarter ended February 27, up 33 percent from $84.1 million, or 60 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 78 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Family Dollar forecast earnings of between 71 cents and 76 cents a share for the third quarter, above analyst expectations of 70 cents a share.

It sees a 6 percent to 8 percent increase in third-quarter same-store sales.

Same-store sales for March rose about 11 percent, helped by good weather and an early Easter, Chief Executive Howard Levine said.

The discount retailer also raised its earnings view for 2010 to between $2.48 and $2.58 a share, above analysts' expectation of $2.47 a share.

Shares of the company closed at $37.79 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)