Big Lots: Q2 comp sales to date “well ahead” of expectations
Big Lots Inc. isn’t seeing any let-up in consumer demand.
The off-price retailer on Friday said it has seen a continuation of the strong demand that began in mid-April during the COVID-19 pandemic, with quarter-to-date comparable sales through fiscal June increasing “well ahead of expectations.”
Big Lots now expects second-quarter same-store sales to be up in a mid-to-high twenties percentage, which easily bests the 13.3% increase analysts expect.
The company expects adjusted diluted earnings per share, which excludes a gain of approximately $11.00 per share on the sale of its four distribution centers as part of the previously announced sale/leaseback transactions, to be in the range of $2.50 to $2.75, compared to $0.53 of adjusted diluted EPS for the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
Big Lots noted that with its positive business trends and recent closure of the sale/leaseback transactions, it is in a very strong liquidity position, with current cash and short-term investments of approximately $890 million, and no amounts drawn on its $700 million revolving credit facility.
"We are very pleased with our quarter-to-date performance and our outlook for the full quarter,” said CEO Bruce Thorn. “Our assortment continues to resonate across all of our merchandise categories, while we continue to grow our customer base and accelerate sign-ups to our Big Rewards program. I could not be prouder of the incredible job our team continues to do in adapting and responding to the unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 crisis.”