Big Lots Inc. reported record second quarter results as rebate-seeking shoppers flooded stores and the retailer’s website in the wake of COVID-19.
The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer said sales in the three months through June increased 31% year-over-year to $ 1.64 billion, topping 1 , $ 61 billion that Wall Street analysts polled by Refintiv were predicting.
Big Lots earned $ 452 million, or $ 11.29 per share, including a one-time after-tax benefit of $ 341.9 million, or $ 8.54 per share, related to the sale of distribution centers in as part of a sale-leaseback contract.
Excluding the benefit, adjusted earnings were $ 2.75 per share, exceeding the expected $ 2.70.
|LARGE||BIG LOTS INC.||50,45||-5,25||-9,43%|
“I am delighted with our record results,” CEO Bruce Thorn said in a statement. “Adjusted earnings per share was the highest we reported in the second quarter, and more than five times what we reported a year ago.”
Comparable sales, or from stores open for at least 12 months, jumped 31% and were strong both in-store and online, adding almost 5 percentage points. The company has attracted the most new online customers of any quarter in its history.
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Strong sales across all categories and a slightly lower number of stores reduced inventory by 18% from a year ago to $ 714 million.
Cash totaled $ 899 million against $ 43 million in debt, compared to $ 54 million in cash and $ 468 million in debt a year earlier.
Big Lots withdrew its financial forecast in March and plans to provide an update in September.
The company’s board of directors presented a new $ 500 million share buyback plan on Thursday evening.
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Shares are up 94% this year through Thursday, beating the S&P 500’s 7.85% gain.