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Big Lots Loss Widens

But the adjusted loss of 9 cents a share is better than expected.
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Big Lots


made good on its July profit warning Wednesday, posting a wider loss despite a 5.6% year-over-year gain in sales.

The wholesale liquidator lost $13.8 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $7.7 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter included a charge of $3.8 million related to a former subsidiary, before which Big Lots lost 9 cents a share. Analysts expected a loss of 11 cents a share on that basis.

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Last month, the company put its second-quarter loss at 9 cents to 12 cents a share.

Sales were $1.05 billion in the latest quarter, matching estimates. Same-store sales, which Big Lots defines as sales at stores that were open for two years at the start of the fiscal year, rose 0.2% in the quarter. The gain reflected a 2.5% rise in the average purchase and a 2.3% decline in the number of transactions.

"As expected, flat comparable store sales and cost challenges, specifically inbound freight rates due to higher fuel prices, pressured the company's gross margin results compared to last year," Big Lots said.

The company didn't alter its guidance for a third-quarter loss of 18 cents to 22 cents a share on a 1% to 3% gain in same-store sales.