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Discount retailer

BJ's Wholesale


reported a sharp drop in second-quarter earnings, as expenses rose slightly faster than sales.

The company earned $22 million, or 32 cents a share, which included a 1-cent gain from a reserve reduction. Last year, the company earned $35.9 million, or 50 cents a share.

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Analysts were calling for earnings of 32 cents a share.

Sales were up about 14% at $1.64 billion from $1.44 billion a year ago. Comparable club sales increased 6.6%, including a 3.6% contribution from gasoline sales, the company said. But the company's cost of sales were about $1.5 billion in the latest quarter compared with $1.3 billion a year ago and its selling, general and administrative expense was $126 million in the latest quarter compared with $103 million last year.

"Sales and earnings for the second quarter came within the guidance we provided at the end of the first quarter," said BJ's CEO Mike Wedge. The company had forecast earnings of 30 cents to 32 cents a share.

Shares of Natick, Mass.-based BJ's closed at $20.15 Monday on the

New York Stock Exchange