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Big Lots swings to loss in Q3; announces CEO retirement

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots Inc. reported Tuesday a loss of $6 million for the third quarter, compared with net income of $4.2 million in the year-ago period. Results, however, topped analysts’ earnings expectations.

Revenue slipped 0.4% to $1.13 billion, missing Wall Street’s forecast of $1.3 billion.

The retailer also announced that its CEO Steven Fishman will retire as chairman and CEO after 40 years in retail. Big Lots has launched a search for his successor; Fishman will stay until a new CEO is appointed.

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Online acquisition overshadows soft sales at Autozone

BY Mike Troy

New York — AutoZone said it acquired online automotive retailer AutoAnything.com in conjunction with the release of first quarter earnings Tuesday morning.

Profit at the nation’s largest retailer of automotive products increased 6.4% to $203.5 million during the quarter ended Nov. 17, and sales rose 3.5% to $2 billion. Same-store sales edged up 0.2%.

The sales were lower than the company expected, but AutoZone chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes characterized the company’s performance as solid, noting it was the 25th consecutive quarter of double-digit profit growth.

"While this past quarter’s sales results were lower than planned, they were not surprising to us. Regional sales discrepancies continued to challenge our results, however we began to see improvements in our more challenged regions late in the quarter," Rhodes said. "We believe the initiatives we have in place are correct for delivering solid financial results, as we remain excited about our opportunities for the remainder of fiscal 2013."

A noteworthy development was the acquisition of online retailer AutoAnything.com. Rhodes said he looked forward to formally welcoming the AutoAnything team to AutoZone, but he offered no additional details.

"The company’s culture and leadership is an outstanding fit with our company as we look forward to growing our e-commerce initiatives for many years to come," Rhodes said.

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C.James says:
Mar-29-2013 04:17 am

Two big companies combined, will surely improve its market power. Also it will be capable of operating in a more efficient manner as compared to before. - Kale Flagg

C.James says:
Mar-29-2013 04:17 am

Two big companies combined, will surely improve its market power. Also it will be capable of operating in a more efficient manner as compared to before. - Kale Flagg

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Big Lots loss only half as bad as planned

BY CSA STAFF

The addition of 27 new stores wasn’t enough to prevent Big Lots from reporting a 1.9% sales decline during the quarter ended October 27.

The operator of 1,482 closeout stores in the U.S. said sales declined 1.9% to a little more than $1 billion and same store sales dropped 4.6% during the company’s third fiscal quarter. The addition of 27 new stores helped mitigate the comp decline and from a profit standpoint Big Lot’s lost less money than it expected and most of the loss was related to Canada where the company operates 79 Liquidation World stores. The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $6 million, or 10 cents a share, that was well below earlier guidance that called for a loss in the range of 20 cents to 30 cents. Seven cents of the 10 cent loss was attributable to the relatively young Canadian business acquired in July 2011. Last year, Big Lots reported a profit from continuing operations of six cents a share.

With a better than expected third quarter loss, Big Lots updated it full year financial forecast and now envisions income from continuing operations ranging from $2.86 to $3.05. Much of that amount is expected to come during the fourth quarter when income from continuing operations is forecast to be $1.91 to $2.20, despite expectations of a low single digit same store sales decline at U.S. stores.

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