Big Lots’ first quarter was a mixed bag as the retailer reported an increase in net income but lower than expected comparable store sales for the period ended April 29.
Net sales for the first quarter were $1.296 billion, a decrease from sales of $1.312 billion for the comparable quarter of 2016. Net income for the quarter was $51.5 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, compared with net income of $38.7 million, or $0.79 per diluted share in the same time period the prior year. Comparable store sales decreased 0.9%.
“After a slow start to the quarter in February, our ownable and winnable merchandise strategy demonstrated its resiliency by bouncing back with low to mid-single digit comps in March and April, along with solid comp store performance month-to-date in May to start the second quarter,” said David Campisi, Big Lots president and CEO. “Consumers are responding to our focus on improving the quality and value of our product assortments and enjoying our improving in-store service levels.”
For the second quarter of fiscal 2017, Big Lots officials estimate income will be in the range of $0.58 to $0.63 per diluted share, compared to adjusted income of $0.52 per diluted share for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. This guidance is based on a comparable store sales increase in the low single digit range, compared to a 0.3% comparable store sales increase in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.