NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Big Lots (BIG) - Get Report shares are down by 1.95% to $44.20 in early market trading on Friday, after the discount retailer reported its first quarter financial results before the opening bell today.

The company issued current quarter downside earnings guidance between 31 cents and 35 cents per diluted share, short of analysts 37 cents per share expectations for the quarter.

The Columbus, OH-based closeout retailer reported a first quarter net income of $32.2 million, or 60 cents per diluted share on revenues that declined by 0.1% year over year to $1.28 billion.

The company's earnings results topped analysts' earnings guidance of 59 cents per share by one cent while revenue fell in line with analysts' $1.28 billion expectations.

For the year the company raised the bottom line of its EPS guidance to $2.80 per share from its previous $2.75 per share expectations.

"I'm pleased with our first quarter sales results. After a difficult start to the quarter and harsh weather conditions in February, sales trends improved in March and April. Our comps for Q1 were solidly in line with our guidance, and increased for a 5th consecutive quarter," said CEO David Campisi. "Jennifer continues to respond positively to our strategic merchandising changes and improved assortments focused on quality, brands, fashion, and value."

TheStreet Ratings team rates BIG LOTS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BIG LOTS INC (BIG) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

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