Big Lots narrows loss

Marianne Wilson
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Big Lots

Big Lots beat analysts’ expectations in its third-quarter and sounded an optimistic note about the coming year.

The close-out retailer reported that its net income totaled $126.98 million, or $3.25 a share, for the quarter ended Nov.2, compared to a loss of $6.6 million, or $0.12 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding gains that included the sale of a California distribution center, Big Lots posted an adjusted loss of $6.98 million, or $0.18 a share. Analysts had been expecting a loss of $0. 20 a share.

Sales rose 1.6% to $1.17 billion, better than analysts expected.

Same-store sales were down 0.1%.

"We are pleased to have delivered operating results in line with our guidance, while strengthening our balance sheet with the proceeds from the sale of our California distribution center,” Bruce Thorn, CEO, stated. “After a year of restructuring and transition in 2019, and despite the ongoing impact of tariffs, we expect to return to EBIT and EPS growth in 2020, including significant improvement in normalized free cash flow.”

Big Lots expects fourth-quarter profit of $2.40 to $2.55 a share and a slight rise in comparable-store sales. Analysts had seen fourth-quarter earnings of $2.68 a share.