Big Lots Surges On Strong Quarterly Earnings

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Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG)

Big Lots shares rose during the regular trading session on Friday after fiscal 2018 fourth quarter results of the retailer smashed market estimates. The company beat on earnings and comparable store sales, while revenue was roughly in line with expectations.

Shares of the discount retailer were up $4.73, or 14.86% to $36.57 as of 2:47 p.m. ET on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 26% since the beginning of the year.



BIG Earnings & Outlook

Big Lots reported net income of $108 million, or $2.68 per share, compared with $104.8 million, or $2.46 per share, in the same period last year. Analysts had predicted earnings of $2.31 per share based on figures compiled by FactSet, while the company had its set its own guidance at $2.20 and $2.40 per share.

Group sales for the quarter ended February 2, the company said, were $1.6 billion in line with Wall Street estimates, but slightly lower than sales of $1.64 billion in the comparable year-earlier period. Sales at stores open for at least 12 months climbed 3.1% in the quarter, while analysts had called for growth of 1.1%.

Looking into 2019, Big Lots expects adjusted earnings to be in the region of $3.55 to $3.75 per share compared with adjusted earnings of $4.04 per share in 2018. Further, the company expects its cash flow to be in the range of $95 million to $105 million for the full year.

Big Lots CEO Comments

Bruce Thorn, President and CEO of Big Lots commented, “After a slow start to the quarter, we experienced meaningful sales acceleration in December and January driving Q4 sales and earnings above the high end of our guidance. Our holiday plans were well executed and led to broad based growth across the majority of our merchandise categories and a comp store sales increase in excess of 3% for the second consecutive quarter.”

“Our merchandise category results were supplemented by continued strong performance in our store of the future remodel efforts and our marketing and stores’ focus on growth of our Rewards loyalty program.”



Big Lots, Inc. Profile

Big Lots, Inc. is a community retailer operating more than 1,400 BIG LOTS stores in 47 states, dedicated to friendly service, trustworthy value, and affordable solutions in every season and category-furniture, food, decor, and more. It supports the communities it serves through the Big Lots Foundation, a charitable organization focused on four areas of need: hunger, housing, healthcare, and education.

It operates through Discount Retailing segment which includes merchandising categories such as Furniture, Seasonal, Soft Home, Food, Consumables, Hard Home, and Electronics, Toys, & Accessories. The company was founded by Sol A. Shenk in 1967 and is headquartered in Columbus, OH. – CNN Money

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