Big Lots Defies Discount Stores’ Downturn in Performance

Big Lots Inc posted results for its 2016 second quarter prior to the opening of the market on Friday. The discount retailer posted earnings per share of 52 cents with revenue of more than $1.2 billion.

For the same three-month period one year ago, the retailer posted EPS of 41 cents and revenue that reached $1.21 billion. Results for the second quarter beat those of analysts, which were 46 cents earnings per share with revenue of $1.22 billion.

Sales at same stores were up 0.3% for the quarter and net sales fell only 0.5%. The company said that the decline in nets sales was attributed to a lower number of stores.

Big Lots guidance for its EPS for its third quarter was set at a loss of 4 cents to a gain of 1 cent. The company for the third quarter last year broke even, and analysts are expecting a 1 cent per share loss for its third quarter of 2016. Sales at same stores were forecast to remain flat to up by 2%.

For its fourth quarter, the discount retailer said that its initial guidance for EPS was $2.18 per share to $2.23 per share compared to a total last year of $2.02. Sales at same stores are again forecast to remain flat to an increase of 2%.

For its entire fiscal year, Big Lots said that is EPS should be between $3.45 and $3.55, compared to earnings last year of just over $3.01.

Sales at same stores were expected to increase between 1% and 2%. The business increased its guidance for cash flow to just over $210 million.

Industry analysts have an EPS estimate of just over $3.47 with revenue coming in for the year of $5.25 billion.

The company made repurchases of more than 5.5 million shares equal to $250 million, which exhausted the authorized approval in March. Big Lots paid a dividend for the quarter of 21 cents per share, which equaled over $9 million.

Shares of Big Lots were down 4.3% Thursday, probably due to the weak performance from other discounting retails such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General.

During trading before the bell on Friday, Big Lots shares traded up over 0.2%.

Many retailers have posted numbers that disappointed investors as the economy continues to grow slightly, while European economies continue to struggle.