Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Big Lots' Comparable Sales Continue Pandemic-Led Surge

By Rich Duprey – Jun 26, 2020 at 1:14PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The discount retailer is preparing for a massive earnings gain in the quarter.

Off-price retailer Big Lots (BIG 1.69%) is expecting even bigger gains in the second quarter than previously estimated, announcing sales were far outpacing even the elevated outlook it had provided just a few weeks ago.

The closeout chain said sales have been so good it now anticipates comparable-store sales to be up by mid- to high-20s percentage rates, more than double the level management guided to when it reported first-quarter results at the end of May.

Pallets being unloaded from a tractor trailer by a forklift

Image source: Getty Images.

Living large

Big Lots' value proposition continues to resonate with consumers unemployed and staying home. First-quarter revenue jumped 11% on a 10% increase in comps and a 45% surge in e-commerce sales. Earnings jumped 37% to $1.26 per share.

The retailer had said at the time the second quarter was off to a strong start, and if comps came in at the same level as they did in the first, it would expect earnings to come in between $0.65 and $0.80 per share, well ahead of the $0.53 per share it notched last year.

Now Big Lots says that, even excluding the $11-per-share gain it anticipates receiving from the sale and leaseback of its four distribution centers, it believes adjusted earnings will receive a massive lift and come in between $2.50 to $2.75 per share.

The discount retailer also says its liquidity position is very strong, with cash and short-term investments of $890 million and no borrowings against its $700 million credit facility.

President and CEO Bruce Thorn said in a statement, "our strong performance over the past few months gives us growing confidence that we are well positioned to navigate through the upcoming quarters and beyond."

Big Lots stock was soaring 30% higher in midday trading on Friday.


Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Big Lots, Inc. Stock Quote
Big Lots, Inc.
$18.68 (1.69%) $0.31

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.