In the first quarter, Big Lots sales and earnings jumped, as the off-price retailer gained momentum to the next fiscal period and beyond.
Net income was $49.3 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, versus $15.5 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, in the fiscal year earlier. Big Lots didn’t post any one-time adjustments for the 2020 first quarter, so its net income figure also stands against adjusted net income of $37 million, or 92 cents per diluted share, in the year-previous quarter.
Big Lots topped a MarketBeat-published first quarter analyst consensus estimate of 40 cents per diluted share.
Comparable sales increased 10.3% in the quarter year over year, with store comps up 10% and e-commerce comps up 45%. Net sales were $1.44 billion versus $1.3 billion in the period a year before. Operating profit was $74.4 million in the quarter versus $25.6 million in the year-prior period.
Bruce Thorn, Big Lots president and CEO, said, “We’ve grown as an organization through these unprecedented times, and it has been amazing to see the team step up our game. Most importantly, our primary focus has been on maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our associates and customers. In turn, that has enabled us to keep our store and ecommerce operations open, and continue serving both our loyal existing customers and many new ones. Our strong financial results are the outcome of those efforts, and I want to give a big and special thanks to all of our associates, and particularly to our associates working in our stores and distribution centers. Looking forward, we are off to a strong start in the second quarter and believe we are well positioned to navigate through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, with strong alignment between our assortment and current customer demand. Equally, we are very focused on ensuring sustainable improvements in our business beyond the crisis. We are applying the learnings of the last few months and continue to roll out our Operation North Star strategies to support our positioning as a go-to neighborhood discount retailer.”