Big Lots stock gained nearly 10%, or $2.96, to $34.80 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Earnings for the fiscal quarter ended Feb. 2 were $108 million, or $2.68 a share, vs. $104.8 million, or $2.57 a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. The results surpassed analysts' estimates of $2.30 a share and Big Lots' own guidance of between $2.20 and $2.40 a share.
"Broad based growth" across the majority of the company's merchandise categories and a comparable same-store sales increase in excess of 3% for the second consecutive quarter helped drive sales and earnings, CEO Bruce Thorn said in a statement.
"Our merchandise category results were supplemented by continued strong performance in our store of the future remodel efforts and our marketing and stores' focus on growth of our Rewards loyalty program," he said.
Big Lots is now estimating fiscal 2019 adjusted income in the range of $3.55 to $3.75 a diluted share vs. adjusted income of $4.04 a diluted share for fiscal 2018, based on comparable same-store sales "in the low single digit range and a total sales increase in the low singles."
The company is predicting cash flow of approximately $95 to $105 million.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots operates more than 1,400 stores in 47 U.S. states.