What happened

Shares of Burlington Stores Inc (NYSE:BURL) were moving higher today after the off-price retailer posted better-than-expected results and raised its guidance in its first-quarter earnings report. As a result, the stock was up 8.2% as of 12:19 p.m. EDT.

The entrance to a Burlington store

Image source: Burlington Stores.

So what 

Once again, the company formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory topped analyst estimates as comparable sales ticked up 4.8%, driving overall sales up 12.8% to $1.52 billion, which beat expectations at $1.49 billion. Gross margin in the period increased 35 basis points to 41.2% due to improved merchandise margins, and other operating costs improved as the company gained leverage from the increase in comparable sales.  

With the help of a lower tax rate from tax reform, adjusted earnings per share jumped 59% to $1.26, which was well ahead of the consensus at $1.09.

CEO Tom Kingsbury said he was "very pleased" with the strong results in the quarter.

Now what 

Burlington has been a standout performer in retail, as its off-price model has protected it from the threat of e-commerce, and the company has consistently ramped up profits as it's added new stores and comparable sales have grown. The stock is now up nearly 500% since its 2013 IPO.

Building on that momentum, management raised its full-year guidance, calling for comparable sales growth of 3% and adjusted earnings per share of $5.90 to $6.00, up from a previous range of $5.73 to $5.83. With another impressive quarter on the books and a hike in guidance, the stock is looking as strong as ever.

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