Fourth quarter financial results for Big Lots were a mixed bag as overall sales grew but comparable store sales were off slightly.
For the three months ended February 3, net sales were $1.64 billion, up from net sales of $1.58 billion in the comparable quarter the prior fiscal year. Comparable store sales decreased 0.1% for the fourth quarter.
Income for the quarter was $104.8 million, or $2.46 per diluted share, which includes a provisional tax expense of $4.5 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, associated with the revaluation of deferred tax assets resulting from new corporate tax legislation.
Excluding this expense, adjusted income totaled $109.3 million, or $2.57 per diluted share, which exceeds the company’s previously communicated guidance of income of $2.35 to $2.40 per diluted share, and represents a 14% increase compared to adjusted income of $102 million, or $2.26 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
Net sales for fiscal 2017 were $5.271 billion compared to $5.200 billion for the prior fiscal year.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the company estimates income in the range of $1.15 to $1.22 per diluted share representing flat to a 6% increase compared to last year’s income of $1.15 per diluted share. This guidance assumes a comparable store sales increase in the range of flat to slightly negative.