BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) - Get Report posted moderately stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, while tweaking its full-year profit guidance, despite softer same store sales gains.

BJ's said earnings for the three months ending on November 2 came in at 41 cents per share, up 5.1% from the same period last year and a penny ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, BJ's said, were largely flat to last year at $3.23 billion and came in just of analysts'- estimates of a $3.33 billion tally. Same store sales that don't include gasoline sales rose 1.5% from last year, BJ's said, compared to forecasts of a 2% gain.

Looking into the final months of its fiscal year, BJ's said it sees earnings in the range of $1.44 to $1.48 per share, a two cent improvement at the lower end, but a two cent trim at the higher end, and pegged 2019 sales at the lower end of its prior forecast of $12.9 billion.

"We delivered solid margin improvement and continued earnings growth in the third quarter " said CEO Chris Baldwin. "We remain focused on executing against our strategic plan and transforming our business to be well positioned for the long-term. The board's decision to authorize a stock repurchase program reflects the strength of our cash flow and confidence in our growth strategy and long-term outlook."

BJ's shares were marked 0.4% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $26.03 each, a move that would give the stock a year-to-date gain of around 17.5%.