TravelCenters exits C-store business
TravelCenters of America has sold its freestanding convenience stores.
The company has entered into an agreement to sell its Minit Mart convenience store business for approximately $330.8 million to EG Group, privately held convenience store retailer based in the United Kingdom. The Minit Mart portfolio includes 225 standalone convenience stores and certain other related assets.
The agreement marks EG’s latest expansion move in the United States. In April, it completed its $2.15 billion purchase of Kroger Co.’s convenience store business, and established a North American headquarters in Cincinnati.
TravelCenters said the sale, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, will enable it focus on its core travel center business. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the deal to reduce leverage and/or invest in travel center growth initiatives.
“We expect some of these growth initiatives may include expanding our industry leading truck service program and growing our nationwide network of travel centers, including investing in our recently announced TA Express travel center format and pursuing new franchising opportunities,” said Andy Rebholz, CEO, TravelCenters.
The Minit Mart stores have been a part of TravelCenters’ business for about five years.
The Minit Mart portfolio generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, of approximately $24.5 million during the 12 months ended June 30, 2018.
TravelCenters of America operates in 43 states and in Canada, principally under the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands and the Minit Mart convenience store brand.
Big Lots Q2 misses Street
Big Lots’ earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations for the second quarter in a row.
The close-out retailer reported income of $24.2 million, or 59 cents per share, for the second quarter ended Aug. 4. This is a drop compared to last year’s second quarter income of $29.1 million, or 67 cents per share. It also missed analyst forecasts of 67 cents, and the company’s own guidance of 60 to 70 cents a share.
Net sales rose to $1.22 billion from $1.21 billion from the same period last year, with the increase in comparable store sales partially offset by a lower store count year-over-year. However, this was still slightly below analyst estimates of $1.23 billion.
Comparable store sales increased 1.6%, compared to the company’s guidance of flat to 2% growth.
The results come mere days after Big Lots named Bruce Thorn as president and CEO. Thorn was most recently the president and COO of Tailored Brands, parent company of Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, and Joseph Abboud. He replaced David Campisi, who retired in April.
As part of the company’s ongoing focus on capital structure, Big Lots extended its current $700 million five year unsecured credit facility. The credit facility now covers a new five year period (expiring August 2023), and maintains a similar structure and financial covenants as the retailer’s previous facility.
Looking ahead to the third quarter, Big Lots expects a comparable store sales increase of 2% to 4%, and income of 4 cents per diluted share to a loss of 6 cents per share, compared to adjusted income of 6 cents per share for the same period last year.
For the full year, Big Lots estimates that comparable store sales will increase by approximately 1%. Income will be in the range of $4.40 to $4.55 per diluted share, compared to fiscal 2017 adjusted income of $4.45 per share.
Lululemon profits jump in Q2, boosts outlook—again
Lululemon’s surging online growth, as well as increasing sales across China contributed to strong second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ expectations.
The apparel retailer maintained its momentum for the quarter ended July 29, with net income of $95.8 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $48.7 million, or 36 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2017. This beat analysts’ forecast of $65.8 million, and 49 cents per share.
Revenue rose 25% to $723.5 million, an increase of 25% compared to $581 million a year ago. This easily topped the $668 million expected by analysts.
Same-store sales were up 20%, surpassing analysts forecasts of 9.6% growth. This also included a 48% jump for Lululemon’s direct-to-consumer revenue. In addition, Asia sales rose 55% on a comparable basis, including a 200% surge in sales through its new China e-commerce platform.
“We’re pleased to see the great results of Q2 across all parts of our business now extending into the current quarter,” Stuart Haselden, COO, said. “This ongoing success positions us to achieve our 2020 goals and beyond.”
Looking to the third quarter, the company expects net revenue to range between $720 million and $730 million based on a total comparable sales increase in the low teens. Earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.67.
For the full year, Lululemon boosted its earnings guidance again to range of $3.185 billion to $3.235 billion based on a total comparable sales increase in the low teens. Earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $3.45 to $3.53 for the full year, up from a range of $3.10 to $3.18 projected in June.