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Big Lots has big quarter


Big Lots provided an upbeat outlook and posted a strong first quarter, beating profit expectations.

The chain reported income of $51.5 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, for the quarter ended April 29, 2017, which easily beat Wall Street expectations. This compares to $38.7 million, or 79 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Same-store sales decreased 0.9%. Net sales decreased 1.2% to $1.30 million, a result of the comparable store sales decline and a lower store count year-over-year, just missing estimates.

"After a slow start to the quarter in February, our ownable and winnable merchandise strategy demonstrated its resiliency by bouncing back with low to mid-single digit comps in March and April, along with solid comp store performance month-to-date in May to start second quarter," David Campisi, CEO and president of Big Lots, which operates 1,434 stores in 47 states. Campisi added that customers are responding to the chain's focus on improving the quality and value of its product assortments and "enjoying our improving in-store service levels."

Big Lots increased its 2017 EPS outlook to $4.05 to $4.20 from $3.95 to $4.10.

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