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Sales surge at BJ’s Wholesale Club

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NATICK, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. reported earnings that bested financial analysts’ expectations for its first quarter, along with a double-digit sales gain.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. reported earnings that bested financial analysts’ expectations for its first quarter, along with a double-digit sales gain.

The warehouse club chain on Wednesday said net income for the quarter ended May 1 totaled $26.1 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, versus $24.3 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.

According to Thomson Financial, the average analyst estimate was 43 cents per share, with the forecast ranging from a low of 40 cents to a high of 46 cents.

BJ’s sales for the first quarter of 2010, meanwhile, increased by 12.9% to $2.55 billion, and comparable-club sales rose 7.8%, including a 3.6% contribution from fuel sales. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales climbed 4.2%, the retailer said. 

In reporting the strong first-quarter performance, BJ’s also raised its earnings guidance. For the year ending Jan. 29, 2011, the retailer now expects earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.58 to $2.68 and net income in the range of $136.9 million to $141.9 million. Its previous forecast was for earnings per diluted share of $2.54 to $2.64 and net income of $133.1 million to $138.1 million.

Currently, BJ’s operates 188 warehouse club stores in 15 states.


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