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With fourth quarter sales and earnings reflecting a generally weaker economy and increased competition throughout much of its trading areas, BJ's Wholesale Club still reported gains for both the three months and the year.
Net sales for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Feb. 1, climbed 12.4 percent, hitting $1.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable club sales were up by 1.6 percent for the period. However, net income dropped to $48.5 million for the three months, compared with $56.4 million in the same quarter the previous year.
For the 12 months, net sales increased by 12.2 percent, reaching $5.7 billion, up from $5.1 billion in the previous year. Comp-club sales climbed 2 percent for the year. Net income for the full year reached $130.9 million, up from $82.3 million in the previous year.
BJ's income from continuing operations for the 12 months was $145.8 million, compared with $83.8 million year over year. This year's income from continuing operations included a post-tax gain of $12 million, while last year's income from continuing operations included a post-tax charge of $63 million. Excluding these two items, income from continuing operations was $133.8 million for the 12 months, compared with $146.8 million in the previous year.
Looking ahead, BJ's said this year's earnings might be significantly lower than analyst expectations, a result of the retailer's spending increases to compete with such rivals as Sam's Club and Costco. BJ's said it will invest in a more upscale store environment, mainly with remodels.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.