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Burlington Stores Rises After Posting Stronger-Than-Expected Earnings

Revenue rises to $2.28 billion in the fourth quarter from $2.21 billion a year earlier.
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Burlington Stores  (BURL)  shares rose sharply Thursday after the discount department store chain posted better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter.

Revenue climbed 3.3% to $2.28 billion in the quarter from $2.21 billion a year ago. The latest figure topped the FactSet analyst consensus of $2.06 billion.

Net income was $155.9 million, or $2.33 a share, in the latest quarter, down from $206.3 million, or $3.08 a share last year. Adjusted earnings per share hit $2.44, beating the analyst consensus of $2.12. 

Comparable store-sales were little changed.

The company declined to provide future earnings estimates because of the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are planning 2021 comparable store sales conservatively but will manage liquidity to chase sales if the trend is stronger,” CEO Michael O’Sullivan said in a statement.

Burlington shares  traded at $270.25, up 6.56%, in premarket trading. They climbed 18% over the past year through Wednesday. That compares to a 29% gain for the S&P 500 in that period.

“We saw comparable-store sales improve sequentially as the quarter progressed, starting with a double-digit decline in November, improving to flat in December, and then accelerating to double digit growth in January,” O’Sullivan said.

He said the company is expanding its “store count potential” to 2,000 stores, from 1,000. 

"This new target takes account of the significant market share opportunity that we see ahead of us, and of the improvements we are making in our business …, in particular the significant reduction in inventory levels and the smaller store footprint that this enables,” the CEO said.