Although general merchandise sales slipped as consumers spent more on groceries and everyday needs, BJ’s had solid financial gains in the first quarter.
Company net income was $112.5 million, or 82 cents per share, versus $81.6 million, or 59 cents per share, in the year-before first quarter.
Adjusted for one-time charges, net income was $118.4 million, or 87 cents per share, BJ’s noted, versus $99.7 million, or 72 cents per share, in the year-previous period.
BJ’s beat a Yahoo Finance-published analyst consensus estimate that came in at 71 cents per diluted share for adjusted earnings per share and $4.24 billion for revenues.
Comparable club sales, excluding gasoline revenue, increased by 4.1% year-over-year in the quarter, the company stated. Membership fee income advanced 11.9% to $96.6 million year-over-year while digitally enabled sales growth came in at 26% versus the 2021 period.
BJ’s posted net sales of $4.4 billion and revenues of $4.5 billion versus $3.78 billion and $3.87 billion, respectively, in the year-earlier quarter, BJ’s reported. Operating income increased to $150.3 million from $126.3 million in the year-prior period.
In a first-quarter conference call, Bob Eddy, BJ’s president and CEO, asserted that the company is driving growth, especially across its digital channels, particularly in buy-online-pick-up-in-store and curbside. He said BJ’s members who are digitally engaged tend to have higher average baskets and shop with the company more frequently, and that those who visit more often have a higher likelihood of renewing their memberships. Digitally enabled sales continued as BJ’s developed new benefits including a partnership with DoorDash and moved toward frictionless shopping.
He noted that comps in the company’s general merchandise and services division slid 10% in the first quarter from the 2021 period but advanced 22% and 19% on a two-year and three-year stack as discretionary spending normalized and cool, wet spring weather affected BJ’s core markets in the northeastern United States. Within general merchandising, home and seasonal experience particular pressure as consumers coped with current conditions and moved more toward pre-pandemic spending patterns.
“Our performance in the first quarter was strong, as gains in member traffic underscored the value we provide,” said Bob Eddy, BJ’s president and CEO, in announcing the financial results. “Our business model remains more relevant than ever in the current inflationary environment. We also continued to build on the transformational gains we have driven over the last two years. Our membership has never been stronger. We reached 6.5 million members in the first quarter, which serves as a testament to the value that we consistently deliver to our members. Our digital business remains a key competitive advantage. We’re quickly expanding our footprint, and we recently closed the acquisition of our perishable distribution network, which will support our future growth efforts and drive long-term shareholder value.”