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Big Lots Sees Q3 Loss, FY21 Earnings Below Market; Announces Share Buyback

While reporting sharply lower profit and weak revenues in its second quarter, discount retailer Big Lots Inc. (BIG) said it expects to report a loss in its third quarter, and issued fiscal 2021 earnings forecast below market estimates.

In pre-market activity on NYSE, Big Lots shares were losing around 9.2 percent to trade at $49.26.

For the third quarter, the company expects to report a loss per share in the range of $0.10 to $0.20.

On average, eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $0.09 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The outlook is based on an expected mid-single digit comparable sales decline, which equates to a low-double digit two-year comparable sales increase.

The company expects gross margin to be down approximately 175 basis points to last year, driven by freight headwinds.

These headwinds would adversely affect the fourth quarter with full year gross margin rate down approximately 100 basis points to last year.

For the full year 2021, Big Lots expects earnings in the range of $5.90 to $6.05, while analysts project $6.74 per share.

The company expects a low single digit comp decline, which incorporates an adverse sales impact from supply chain disruption.

Further, the company announced that its Board of Directors on August 25 declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per share. This dividend payment of approximately $10 million will be payable on September 24 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on September 10.

The Board also authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million of the company's outstanding common shares.

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