Big Lots Positions For Growth After Solid Q2

Big Lots beat a Wall Street estimate even as second quarter earnings slipped year over year amid a strategic repositioning that includes store changes, while enduring tariff effects.

For the quarter ended August 3, net income was $6.2 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, versus $24.2 million, or 59 cents per diluted share, in the period a year prior. Adjusted to exclude one-time charges, net income was $20.6 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, for the quarter. Big Lots didn’t record one-time charges applicable to its earnings in last year’s second quarter.

The off-price retailer’s adjusted diluted earnings per share topped a MarketBeat-published analyst consensus estimate of 40 cents.

Comparable sales advanced 1.2% from the quarter a year earlier. Net sales increased 2.5% to $1.25 billion versus the year-previous period with positive comps and sales growth in high-volume new stores partially offset by a lower store count versus the year-past quarter. Operating profit was $13.2 million versus $34.3 million in the quarter a year before.

Bruce Thorn, Big Lots president and CEO, said, “We are pleased with our performance for the second quarter, which was in line with our sales guidance and ahead on earnings. Going forward, despite the current tariff headwinds, we are confident we will be able to navigate through this environment to deliver a good outcome for 2019. More significantly, I am highly encouraged by the progress we have made over the last 90 days on our strategic transformation. Our existing initiatives are working, and we have important new strategies in progress to drive profitable long-term growth and deliver value to our shareholders.”