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Big Lots beats Street with Q2 earnings, misses on same-store sales

For the second quarter in a row, after-tax charges bit into profits at Big Lots Inc.

The closeout retailer reported net income of $6.2 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, including after-tax charges of $14.5 million related to its ongoing strategic business transformation. This represented a roughly 75% decrease from net income of $24.2 million the prior-year period. However, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 53 cents per share beat Wall Street analyst expectations of 36 cents per share.

Net sales totaled $1.25 billion, up 2% from $1.22 billion a year earlier and in line with Wall Street predictions. Same-stores sales growth of 1.2% fell behind expectations of 1.9%.

Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots, struck an optimistic tone in his remarks.

“We are pleased with our performance for the second quarter, which was in line with our sales guidance and ahead on earnings,” said Thorn. “Going forward, despite the current tariff headwinds, we are confident we will be able to navigate through this environment to deliver a good outcome for 2019. More significantly, I am highly encouraged by the progress we have made over the last 90 days on our strategic transformation. Our existing initiatives are working, and we have important new strategies in progress to drive profitable long-term growth and deliver value to our shareholders."

For the upcoming third quarter of fiscal 2019, Big Lots is predicting an adjusted loss of 15 to 25 cents per share and approximately flat same-store sales. The retailer is reiterating fiscal year guidance of adjusted income in the range of $3.70 to $3.85 per diluted share, and updating same-store sales guidance to flat to slightly positive growth.
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