First quarter sales at Big Lots were up moderately as the company reported its ninth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth.
For the period ended April 30, net sales were $1.31 billion, up 2.5% over sales of $1.28 billion for the first quarter of 2015. Comparable stores sales were up 3%.
“I’m very pleased with our first quarter results,” said David Campisi, president and CEO of Big Lots. “[Big Lots shoppers] continue to respond positively to our strategic focus on ownable and winnable merchandise categories, improved merchandise presentations and more consistent in-store execution.”
Income from continuing operations in the quarter was $38.6 million, or $0.79 per diluted share. This result includes an after tax expense of $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, associated with legacy pension plans which have been terminated. Excluding this expense, adjusted income from continuing operations totaled $39.9 million, or $0.82 per diluted share. The company had issued first quarter guidance of adjusted income from continuing operations of $0.66 to $0.72 per diluted share (non-GAAP).
For the second quarter of fiscal 2016, Big Lots officials estimate adjusted income from continuing operations will be in the range of $0.42 to $0.47 per diluted share (non-GAAP), compared to adjusted income from continuing operations of $0.41 per diluted share (non-GAAP) for the second quarter of fiscal 2015. This guidance is based on an estimated comparable store sales in the range of flat to an increase of 2% compared to a 2.8% comparable store sales increase in Q2 of fiscal 2015.
Big Lots operates 1,448 stores in 47 states.