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Big Lots Trumps First Quarter as Closures Make Leaner, Meaner Company

Big Lots shares are spiking Friday after the company showcased leaner business operations in its first quarter, a byproduct of cost-cutting designed to compete in a hostile retail environment. Late last year, the discount chain announced it would shutter its wholesale operations and exit its Canadian market. Analysts expected associated costs to push the company into the red over the first quarter. However, on a GAAP basis, Big Lots earned 6 cents a share, well over analysts' forecasts for a net loss of 7 cents a share. Excluding one-time charges, the retailer earned 50 cents a share, 6 cents higher than analysts estimated.