Big Lots shares hit 2-year high on strong quarter

Shares of discount retailer Big Lots hit 2-year high on strong 1st quarter; ups 2014 outlook

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Big Lots jumped to a two-year high Friday after the discount retailer reported better-than-expected first-quarter results and boosted its outlook for the year.

A rise in sales of food, furniture and home goods helped results, CEO David Campisi said during a conference call with analysts Friday.

Big Lots has also found success selling coolers and freezers, he said. The company will continue to add them to stores over the year. Campisi expects the two items to increase overall sales.

The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer said its net income fell to $3.3 million, or 6 cents per share, in the quarter ended May 3, from $32.3 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago. But when adjusted to include discontinued business, Big Lots earned 50 cents per share. That's above the 44 cents per share analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $1.28 billion from $1.27 billion, beating the $1.26 billion analysts expected.

For the full year, it now expects earnings between $2.35 and $2.50 per share, up from its previous expectations between $2.25 and $2.45 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $2.39 for the year.

For the second quarter, it expects earnings between 24 cents and 30 cents per share. Analysts expect earnings of 28 cents per share, on average.

In midday trading, Big Lots Inc. shares rose $4.79, or 12.8 percent, to $42.30. Earlier, they rose as high as $43.20, their highest point since April 2012.

The company runs 1,496 stores around the country, selling everything from cereal to couches to tablets.

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