13927 Wed, 03/05/2008 - 12:53pm
COLUMBUS, Ohio–Big Lots, the giant closeout retailer, this morning reported a decline in both sales and profits for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, but an increase in net income per diluted share. The drop in sales and company income compared with the same period a year ago partially reflects the fact that the quarter contained only 13 weeks, while the equivalent quarter a year ago had 14 weeks.
Net income fell to $92 million dollars, down 8.6 percent over the year-ago period, while sales fell 11.8 percent to $1.4 billion.
Nevertheless, diluted earnings per share rose 10.6 percent to $1.04 from 94 cents.
Steve Fishman, chairman and chief executive officer, attributed the increase in earnings per share to faster inventory turnovers, new point-of-sale register systems, and the retrofitting of almost 70 stores.
The retailer also repurchased 30 million shares of its stock, or around 27 percent of the outstanding shares at the start of 2007. The cost of the repurchase was $713 million.
For the full fiscal year 2008, the company said it expects comparable-store sales to increase 1 percent to 2 percent.