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Big Lots makes big splash with profit growth, healthy sales


Another value retailer has posted a stellar first quarter, outshining traditional department stores and many specialty stores. Big Lots Inc. surpassed Wall Street expectations with net income and revenue performance that one major presidential candidate might term “huge.”

The discounter reported net income of $38.66 million, a 20% gain from $32.31 million the same quarter a year earlier, or 82 cents a share (excluding some items), topping the 70 cents projected by analysts. Big Lots also raised its annual forecast for earnings to as much as $3.50 a share. It had previously targeted no more than $3.35.

Net sales rose a better-than-expected 2% to $1.31 billion from $1.28 billion. Same-store sales increased 3%, the ninth consecutive quarterly increase.

“I'm very pleased with our first quarter results,” said David Campisi, CEO and president of Big Lots. “First quarter comps increased for the ninth consecutive quarter and were at the high end of our guidance range. Jennifer (Big Lots’ core customer persona) continues to respond positively to our strategic focus on ownable and winnable merchandise categories, improved merchandise presentations and more consistent in-store execution.”

Big Lots forecast same store sales growth from flat to 2% in the second quarter and low single digits for the full fiscal year. The retailer also expects full-year total sales to be up slightly.
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