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Big Lots Issues Q1 Earnings Guidance; Declares Dividend

Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) said the company expects its financial performance in 2021 will be significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first quarter, the company expects earnings per share in the range of $1.30 to $1.45, based on a low-single-digit comparable sales increase.

Fourth quarter net income per share was $2.59, compared to $2.39, a year ago. On average, nine analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $2.50, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Fourth quarter net sales were $1.74 billion, up 8.1% from last year, with the growth resulting from a 7.9% increase in comparable sales, and sales growth from new and relocated non-comp stores, offset by a slightly lower average store count year-over-year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.74 billion, for the quarter.

On March 4, 2021, the company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per common share for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. The dividend will be paid on April 2, 2021, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 19, 2021.

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