Big Lots share prices jumped more than 11 percent Tuesday on the news that the deep-discount retailer’s third quarter wasn’t half as bad as everybody thought it would be, and because the company revised its full-year guidance for earnings from continuing operations upward to $3.05 per share from $2.86.
Big Lots posted a loss from continuing operations of $6 million, or 10 cents per share, for the quarter ending Oct. 27 after saying it expected a loss of 20 to 30 cents. That compares to a third-quarter 2011 gain of $4.2 million (6 cents).
Fiscal year-to-date numbers were in the black at $56.9 million (93 cents) from continuing operations.
Same-store sales in the U.S. during the third quarter were down 4.6 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
The biggest loss came in Canada, where Big Lots is still dealing with its earlier takeover of a competitor.
The quarter saw Big Lots open 27 new stores and spend $51 million to repurchase 1.6 million of its outstanding shares. Throughout the fiscal year, the company has repurchased 13 percent of its shares, completing a repurchase program it announced in May.
At quarter end, Big Lots operated 1,482 stores in the U.S., including one in Canyon Country, and 79 in Canada.