BJ's Wholesale 4Q Net Down 81% On Charges; Revenue Up

BJ’s Wholesale (NYSE:BJ) disclosed on Wednesday an 81% plunge in fiscal fourth-quarter profits amid charges, but the warehouse club operator’s same-store sales increased amid rising gasoline sales.

Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s said it earned $10.2 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 29, compared with a profit of $54.5 million, or $1.00 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items like closure charges, it earned 95 cents a share, surpassing the Street’s view of 92 cents but matching the company’s earlier projection.

Revenue increased 7.3% to $2.96 billion, coming in shy of consensus calls for $2.98 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.8% overall, but just 1.7% when gasoline is excluded.

“I am very pleased with our results for the fourth quarter and full year, which reflect continued margin expansion and excellent cost control,” CEO Laura Sen said in a statement. “Consistent growth in member visits, membership renewals and sales of perishable food demonstrate that BJ’s is continuing to capture market share from other retail channels.”

BJ’s said its results would have been better if it had not been for severe weather, which hurt merchandise same-club sales by 1% to 1.5%.

BJ’s also said its February same-store sales climbed 5.5%, while its merchandise sales excluding gasoline were up 2.4%.

Looking ahead, BJ’s projected full-year EPS of $2.62 to $2.82, compared with the Street’s view of $2.81. The company sees fiscal first-quarter EPS of 54 cents to 58 cents, ahead of estimates for just 52 cents.

Shares of BJ’s slipped just 0.23% to $48.20 ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell. The stock ended Tuesday virtually flat on the year, but has jumped 32% from a year ago.

BJ’s larger rival Costco (NASDAQ:COST) reported an in-line 16% rise in fiscal second-quarter profits and hiked its quarterly dividend on Wednesday.