Why Big Lots (BIG) Exploded on Friday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Big Lots (BIG) was spiking on Friday after earnings topped estimates and on news the company's exit of its Canadian operations resulted in a lower loss than anticipated.

By market open, shares had added 18.3% to $34.61.

The discount retailer reported adjusted income from continuing U.S. operations of $1.45 a share, a nickel higher than analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected.

Net sales for continuing U.S. operations decreased 7.3% compared to the year-ago quarter to $1.57 million. Analysts had forecast revenue of $1.6 million. Comparable-store sales decreased 3% over the quarter, consistent with previous guidance.

The wind-down of its Canadian operations cost the company $27 million, or 47 cents a share. Previous guidance was for a net loss of between 65 cents and 75 cents a share.

"The favorable result in the fourth quarter resulted from the higher sell-through of merchandise at better margins, lower operating expenses, and the timing of recognition of lease liability charges and certain asset write downs," the company said in a statement.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates BIG LOTS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BIG LOTS INC (BIG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow."

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