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Big Lots bolstered by cash inflows despite sales dip

Friday, March 3, 2017 8:10
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Stock clearance specialist Big Lots Inc (NYSE:BIG) rallied as earnings beat forecasts even though sales fell in its final quarter.

David Campisi, chief executive, said it had been a difficult retail environment, but it was solid a fourth quarter performance given the background.

Like-for-like sales rose by 0.3%, at the bottom of its range of estimates, but net sales dipped 0.3% to US$1.58bn as the number of outlets was cut back.

Underlying earnings for the final quarter rose by 12% to US$2.16 and for the full year by 21% to US$3.64.

Cashflow was also better than forecast and the dividend went up by 19% in the final quarter to make the annual payment US$38mln for the year alongside share buy-backs of US$250mln.

Earning are forecast to rise to between US$3.95-US$4.10 in 2017, while cash returns should amount to US$195mln.

Shares rose 4% to US$54.35.

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