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From Home Furnishing Business

Big Lots Tops Q3 Earnings Projections; Sales Up 0.5%

Discount retailer Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) said sales edged up 0.5% to $1.11 billion in the quarter ended Oct. 28, and its net income more than tripled due to an insurance settlement.

The bottom line totaled $4.37 million or 10 cents per share. That was up from $1.38 million or 3 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Without the one-time gain from the insurance settlement, net income for the quarter was 6 cents per share, which was above the retailer’s projection of 1 cent to 5 cents per share.

Comparable-store sales were up 1%.

"I'm very pleased with our third quarter results. In a challenging retail environment, the team delivered on our financial commitments with sales in line with our communicated guidance and EPS growth above our expectations,” said David Campisi, president and CEO. “Jennifer (Big Lots’ name for its typical shopper) continues to respond positively to our strategy focusing on ownable and winnable merchandise categories, improved merchandise presentations, and more consistent, friendly customer service and in-store execution."

The retailer, which has been expanding its presentation of furniture and mattresses in recent quarters, also boosted its earnings guidance for the current fiscal year, which ends in late January.

Big Lots is now projecting earnings of $4.23 to $4.28 per share, not including the insurance settlement recorded in the most recent quarter. That’s up from an August projection of $4.15 to $4.25 per share.

The guidance is based on a 1% comparable-store sales increase and a 2% increase in total sales, the company said.

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