BJ's Wholesale ( BJ) reported flat fourth-quarter earnings that easily beat analysts' estimates and raised guidance for the current fiscal year.

BJ's, based in Natick, Mass., earned $49.2 million, or 70 cents a share, in the latest fourth quarter compared with net income of $48.5 million, or 70 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 12.6% to $1.9 billion on a 7.5% jump in same-store sales.

The latest quarter included a net gain of 2 cents a share resulting from several one-time items. Analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics had been forecasting earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $1.92 billion in the latest quarter.

BJ's said it expects to earn $1.58 to $1.66 a share in the year ending Jan. 29, 2005. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of $1.57 a share.

The stock was recently trading at $25.34 on Instinet, up from its Monday close of $24.44.

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