Despite a drop into losses, Big Lots managed to beat a Wall Street earnings estimate and come out just below a revenue estimate.
Net loss in the quarter by Big Lots was $12.5 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, versus net income of $49.8 million, or $1.63 per diluted share, in the quarter a year prior. Adjusted to exclude one-time events, net loss was $8.1 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, versus net income of $53.6 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, in the year-before quarter, the company maintained.
A Yahoo Finance-published analyst consensus estimate called for a net loss of 85 cents per adjusted diluted share and revenues of $1.55 billion.
Net sales for the fourth quarter totaled $1.54 billion versus $1.73 billion for the year-before period. A comparable sales decrease of 13% drove the net decline. Big Lots estimated that comps took a 130 basis points hit due to product shortages in furniture resulting from the unexpected closure of its largest vendor in November. The impact noted excludes the attachment impact on adjacent categories, such as soft home, Big Lots pointed out. Net new stores and relocations contributed approximately 210 basis points of sales growth versus the year-past quarter.
Operating loss was $8.1 million versus operating profit of $67.5 million, in the year-past period, while adjusted operating loss was $2.3 million versus operating profit of $72.5 million.
Net loss for the full fiscal year was $210.7 million, or $7.30 per diluted share, versus net income of $177.8 million, or $5.33 per diluted share. Adjusted net loss was $171.9 million, or $5.96 per diluted share, versus net income of $181.6 million, or $5.44 per diluted share, in the year before, the company reported.
Net sales for fiscal 2022 totaled $5.47 billion versus $6.15 billion in the year before with the decrease resulting from a comp decrease of 12.9% partially offset by sales growth in new and relocated non-comp stores. Operating loss was $261.5 million versus operating profit of $239.8 million in the year past while adjusted operating loss was $210 million versus operating profit of $244.8 million.
Commenting on the financial results, Bruce Thorn, Big Lots president and CEO, said, “Despite the extremely difficult consumer environment throughout 2022, we’ve taken action to strengthen and transform our business model. Against that backdrop, we made sequential progress to improve our margins, tightly manage expenses and right-size our inventories over the last few quarters. Even though our furniture business was adversely impacted by the unexpected closure of our largest vendor, we were able to deliver fourth quarter sales and gross margins that were in line with guidance. Further, our year-over-year inventories came down materially to appropriate levels. We also saw favorability in SG&A, as we tightly managed costs, and have further strengthened our balance sheet through asset monetization efforts. I remain impressed by the agility and efforts of the team, who once again delivered on our targets under challenging conditions.”
Looking at the year ahead, Thorn said, “We remain excited about the opportunity to provide more value to our customers, while improving our sales and earnings momentum as the year progresses. We continue to accelerate the transformation of our business through key action points. These include offering even more compelling opening price points and better bargains and treasures, which are easier to find and more convenient to shop. In addition, we will continue to take strides to meet our customer’s needs, grow our relevance, and be more efficient across our fleet. We remain focused on growing margin, reducing expenses and making highly disciplined investment decisions.”