Big Lots Inc.’s (BIG) shares crashed over 13% during premarket hours on Friday after the company reported a wider-than-expected loss for the third quarter of 2018 and reduced its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings guidance. Revenues came in line with estimates.
Net sales rose 3.6% to $1.14 billion from the same period last year, reflecting comp sales growth and a favorable impact from the fiscal calendar shift, which was partially offset by a lower store count year-over-year. Comparable store sales rose 3.4%.
The company reported a net loss of $6.6 million, or $0.16 per share, for the third quarter, compared to a net income of $4.3 million, or $0.10 per share, in the prior-year period.
President and CEO Bruce Thorn stated, “In terms of third quarter, we were pleased to achieve our second consecutive quarter of positive comps, but our bottom line results fell short of our expectations. While we expect near-term results to be challenging this holiday season, we have a strong brand, great people, and we are working swiftly to enhance our current strategy, identify new growth opportunities, and position our business for profitable expansion well into the future.”
At the end of the third quarter, inventory totaled $1.07 billion compared to $1.03 billion last year, with the increase in inventory driven mainly by the shift and timing of our retail calendar versus last year, partially offset by a lower store count year-over-year.
The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per common share, payable on December 28, 2018 to shareholders of record on December 14, 2018.
Big Lots revised its earnings guidance for both the fourth quarter and full year of 2018. For the fourth quarter, the company expects comparable sales to be flat to up 2%. Income is expected to come in the range of $2.20 to $2.40 per share versus the previous range of $2.90 to $3.00 per share.
For the full year of 2018, Big Lots affirmed its guidance for comp store sales growth of approx. 1%. The company cut its outlook for adjusted income to a range of $3.55 to $3.75 per share from the prior range of $4.40 to $4.55 per share.