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Big Lots Q1 Profit Beats Estimates; Raises Earnings Guidance - Quick Facts

Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) reported first-quarter adjusted earnings per share meaningfully higher than the company's expectations while sales growth and comps were in line with its guidance. Comparable store sales increased 1.5% for the first quarter, compared to the company's guidance of an increase in the low single digits. Looking forward, Big Lots increased fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings per share outlook.

For the first-quarter, adjusted income totaled $37.0 million, or $0.92 per share compared to $40.0 million, or $0.95 per share, prior year. The company's guidance for adjusted income per share was $0.65 to $0.75. On average, 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.70 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

First-quarter net sales rose 2.2% to $1.30 billion from $1.27 billion, last year, with the increase resulting from positive comparable store sales and sales growth in high volume new stores, or non-comp stores, partially offset by a lower store count year-over-year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter.

For fiscal 2019, the company increased adjusted income guidance to be in the range of $3.70 to $3.85 per share, compared to prior guidance of adjusted income of $3.55 to $3.75 per share. This outlook is based on a comparable store sales increase in the low single digits. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $3.66, for the fiscal year.

For the second quarter, the company expects adjusted income will be in the range of $0.35 to $0.45 per share. This guidance is based on a comparable store sales increase in the low single digits. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $0.43, for the second quarter.

Big Lots announced its Board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per common share for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. The dividend will be paid on June 28, 2019, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 14, 2019.

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