Big Lots 3Q Profit Down 42% Amid 2009 Gain; EPS View Cut

By RetailFOXBusiness

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) revealed on Friday a steeper-than-expected 42% decline in third-quarter profits and trimmed its fourth-quarter EPS guidance.

The Columbus, Ohio-based close-out retailer said it earned $17.7 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 30, compared with a profit of $30.3 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of 24 cents.

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Big Lots previously said its sales climbed 2.4% to $1.04 billion, trailing consensus estimates. Same-store sales inched up 0.7%. Gross margins rose from 40.4% to 40.5%.

The retailer also downgraded its profit outlook, citing recent business trends and share repurchase activity. Big Lots said it expects fourth-quarter EPS of $1.36 to $1.42, down from $1.41 to $1.45 previously. It also forecasted sales rising 4% and same-store sales flat to up 2%.

Hurt by the new guidance, EPS miss and a disappointing November jobs report, shares of Big Lots fell 4% to $29.91. The stock had been up more than 7% on the year as of Thursday’s close.

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