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BJ’s Q1 tops estimates; consumers remain cautious about big-ticket purchases

BJ's Wholesale Club
BJ’s currently operates 244 clubs and 176 BJ's Gas locations in 20 states.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, with gains in membership, traffic and unit volumes.

The membership warehouse club retailer posted net income of  $111.0 million, or $0.83 a share, for the quarter ended May 4, down from $115.9 million, or $0.85 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings came to $0.85 a share, just ahead of the $0.83 per share analysts had expected.

Total revenues increased 4.1% to $4.919 billion, topping estimates of $4.855 billion.  On the company’s earnings call, BJ’s chairman and CEO Bob Eddy said that consumers are showing some caution, particularly when it comes to making purchases of big-ticket items.

“Consumers remain discerning in their purchasing,” he told analysts. 

Same-store sales rose 1.6%, more than expected. Excluding gasoline, same-store sales rose 0.6%. Digitally enabled comparable sales growth was 21.0% year-over-year.

Membership-fee income rose 8.6% to $111.4 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased to $721.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared to $689.3 million last year. The increase was primarily driven by increased labor and occupancy costs as a result of new club and gas station openings in addition to other investments to drive strategic priorities.

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In the earnings statement, Eddy noted that BJ’s delivered strong increases in membership, traffic and unit volumes during the quarter, which resulted in revenue growth and market share gains.

“Our merchandising improvements and digital conveniences, grounded in delivering compelling value, are resonating with our members,” he said. “We are also growing our footprint and remain on track for 12 new club openings this year.”

As the company expands, it continues to grow its footprint into markets beyond the East Coast.  In March, it announced plans to enter its 21st state — Kentucky — with the opening of a club near the Jefferson Mall in Louisville, in early 2025.  

BJ’s affirmed its full-year outlook. It expects same-store sales to rise 1% to 2% and adjusted earnings to range from $3.75 to $4.00 per share.

“As we look ahead to the rest of the year, we remain confident in our ability to maintain our strength in traffic, unit volumes and market share led by our continued focus on delivering value to our members and executing on our strategic priorities,” said Laura Felice, executive VP and CFO. “Our outlook remains unchanged for fiscal 2024.”

BJ’s currently operates 244 clubs and 176 BJ's Gas locations in 20 states.

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