Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Mar 09, 2018 • 08:00 am ET

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Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Welcome to the Big Lots Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being recorded. During this session, all lines will be muted until the question-and-answer portion of the call. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I would like to introduce our first speaker, Andy Regrut, Vice President of Investor Relations.

Executive
Andy Regrut

Thanks, Anthony, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for our fourth quarter conference call. With me here today in Columbus are Lisa Bachmann, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising and Operating Officer; and Tim Johnson, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.

Before we get started, I'd like to remind you that any forward-looking statements we make on today's call involve risk and uncertainties and are subject to our safe harbor provisions as stated in our press release and SEC filings. And that actual results can differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. All commentary today is focused on adjusted non-GAAP results.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, this excludes a provisional tax expense of $4.5 million, or $0.11 per diluted share associated with the revaluation of deferred tax assets resulting from new corporate tax legislation. Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP adjusted earnings are available in today's press release.

I'll now turn the call over to TJ.

Executive
Tim Johnson

Thanks, Andy, and good morning, everyone. Before we get into the review of our business, I would like to thank the investment community, both sell side and buy side for your well wishes and concerns for David and we have shared those with him. In terms of an update, as you are all well aware, we announced in early December that David would be taking a temporary medical leave. As of today, David remains on medical leave. The entire Big Lots family is looking forward to David's recovery and intend to keep you informed of developments as appropriate.

As you may recall since December, Lisa and I have carried out David's executive responsibilities backed by the deeply talented Big Lots executive leadership team and senior leadership team. In addition, Jim Chambers, the Non-Executive Chair of our Board has provided valuable support to ensure that Big Lots continues to progress along the strategic path that has now led us to 17 consecutive quarters of meeting or exceeding our earnings guidance.

I'll now turn the call over to Lisa for an overview of our results from a merchandising perspective.

Executive
Lisa Bachmann

Thank you, TJ and good morning, everyone. Q4 was a good quarter for the Company, as our earnings results exceeded our expectations and we made meaningful progress towards our long-term strategic initiatives. From a sales perspective, comp store sales declined ever so slightly in Q4, down 0.1% compared to our guidance of flat to plus 2%.

From a merchandising perspective, Soft Home was the best performing category, up mid-single digits, which is on top of the 6% increase last year with strength in flooring, fast and decorative textiles. Congratulations to Martha, Kevin and the BPARM team for another very