Big Lots Earnings Jump 37%

Big Lots (BIG) on Tuesday reported second-quarterearnings that rose 37%, helped by lower markdowns, and beat Wall Street estimates. The retailer also raised 2010 earnings for the second time.

The closeout retailer, which sells everything from furniture to clothes at a discount, said that for its fiscal second quarter that ended July 31, net profit rose to $38.9 million, or 48 cents a share, from $28.4 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts estimated earnings of 47 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue grew 5.1% from $1.09 billion to $1.14 billion, matching analyst estimates. Comparable store sales were up 3.8%. Big Lots also said its gross margin improved by half a percentage point, helped by lower markdowns and a favorable merchandise mix impact, which more than offset rising freight costs.

Big Lots said it now expects fiscal 2010 comparable store sales in the range of 3.5% to 4.5%. This translates into expected income from continuing operations of between $2.82 and $2.90 a share for the fiscal year, compared to its previous guidance of $2.75 to $2.85 a share. Analysts had been forecasting annual earnings of $2.85 a share.

Big Lots' shares rose nearly 38% over the past year, and 9.5% year-to-date, beating the broad market index.
Read Full Story

Markets

DJIA 25,444.34 64.89 0.26%
NASDAQ 7,449.03 -36.11 -0.48%
NIKKEI 225 22,532.08 -126.08 -0.56%
HANG SENG 25,561.40 106.85 0.42%
DAX 11,553.83 -35.38 -0.31%
USD (per EUR) 1.15 0.01 0.67%
USD (per CHF) 1.00 0.00 0.02%
JPY (per USD) 112.55 0.37 0.33%
GBP (per USD) 1.31 0.01 0.40%