Big Lots Climbs on Q4 Results
Retailer Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) released its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings results on Wednesday prior to the opening bell. The company reported earnings that were above Wall Street expectations and sales which were in line with consensus estimates. For first-quarter, however, Big Lots offered guidance which was below current Street expectations. Nevertheless, the stock was trading higher around mid-day, having climbed a little less than 5 percent to $35.50.
The Columbus, Ohio-based closeout retailer reported net income of $120.28 million or $2.09 per share, compared to $114.72 million or $1.75 per share, in last year's corresponding quarter. The most recent quarter benefited from an extra week of selling due to a shift in the retail calendar, which resulted in an extra $0.05 in earnings per share for the period. Wall Street analysts had consensus EPS estimates of $1.98 heading into the report.
Net sales for the fourth-quarter were up 5 percent to $1.75 billion, which was in-line with Wall Street estimates. Comparable-store sales in the period fell 3.5 percent while gross margins increased 3.5 percent. Operating margin at Big Lots fell from 11.4 percent to 11.2 percent in the quarter.
For fiscal 2012, the company reported net income of $177.12 million or $2.93 per share, versus $207.06 million or $2.98 per share, last year. Adjusted income was $180.6 million or $2.99 per share. Sales for fiscal 2012 rose nearly 4 percent to $5.40 billion.
Looking ahead to Q1, Big Lots said that it sees adjusted net income of $0.53 to $0.65 per share versus the $0.68 per share the company reported in last year's first-quarter. This is below current analysts' consensus of $0.75 per share for Q1.
For fiscal 2013, Big Lots guided for net income of $3.05 to $3.25 and a consolidated sales increase of 2-3%. Currently, Wall Street analysts are projecting that Big Lots will report EPS of $3.16 for the fiscal year on sales of $5.56 billion.
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