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Big Lots Drops Even as Earnings Beat Estimates

Shares of Big Lots traded lower even after the discount retailer reported earnings that beat estimates.

Big Lots  (BIG) - Get Big Lots, Inc. Report shares dropped on Friday after the discount retailer posted better-than-expected fiscal-third-quarter earnings.

Shares of the Columbus, Ohio, at last check dropped 5.8% to $49.80. 

Big Lots posted earnings of $29.9 million, or 76 cents a share, a 76% decline from $126.9 million, or $3.25 a share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose 18% to $1.38 billion from $1.17 billion a year earlier. 

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of GAAP earnings of 65 cents a share, or an adjusted 66 cents, on revenue of $1.35 billion. 

Same-store sales increased 17.8%. The FactSet call: 15.3%.

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"We registered our strongest ever third-quarter sales comp and, by way of continued strategic management of our business and tight control of expenses, we delivered our highest ever adjusted EPS in a third quarter," President and Chief Executive Bruce Thorn said in a statement.

"During the quarter, we continued the rollout of our strategies, including the re-configuration of our food and consumables categories and expanding our online merchandise assortment offering" by implementing ship-from-store, Thorn added.

The retailer had inventory of $1.09 billion at the end of the third quarter versus $1.12 billion a year earlier.

In the third quarter, Big Lots invested $100 million to repurchase 2.2 million shares at an average $45.81.

["This] year's holiday season is certainly unique, and our strategic decision to plan for early holiday shopping has paid off. Although we expect business to moderate given the elongated season, we are pleased with the strong start we have made to the fourth quarter," Thorn said.

The company did not provide guidance due to the lack of economic visibility during the coronavirus pandemic.

"With our steadfast focus on customer service, our strongly aligned assortment of everyday essentials and stay-at-home products, and our growing customer file, we believe we are well positioned to navigate through and beyond the current environment," said Thorn.