Big Lots Makes Progress In Q1

Big Lots beat a Wall Street earnings per share estimate as the off-price retailer progressed in its first quarter. 

The company posted net income of $15.5 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, versus $31.2 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter period a year previous.

Adjusted income, excluding one-time charges, totaled $37 million, or 92 cents per diluted share, versus $40 million, or 95 cents per diluted share, in the year-before quarter. The company topped a MarketBeat-published analyst consensus adjusted diluted earnings per share estimate of 70 cents.

Comparable sales increased 1.5% in the quarter year over year. Net sales were $1.3 billion, up 2.2% versus the year-prior period. Operating profit was $26.6 million versus $45.3 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Bruce Thorn, Big Lots president and CEO, said, “The first quarter was a solid start to our new fiscal year with sales growth and comps in line with guidance and adjusted EPS meaningfully higher than our expectations. Our first quarter sales result represents the fourth consecutive quarter of positive comps, which is encouraging in light of the delayed income tax refunds and macro weather challenges in many of our markets. I continue to be very pleased with the progression of certain longer-term strategic elements of our business and their contribution to our near-term results, including the strong performance in our Store of the Future format, the accelerating sales we’re seeing in our new stores, the continued growth of our rewards loyalty program, and our e-commerce business, which had its best quarter life-to-date.”