Shares of Big Lots Inc. BIG tumbled 10.5% toward a 32-year low in premarket trading Friday, after the discount home essentials retailer reported a much wider-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss and said it will suspend its dividend. Net losses for the quarter to April 29 swelled to $206.1 million, or $7.10 a share, from $11.1 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, the adjusted per-share loss of $3.40 was nearly double the FactSet loss consensus $1.78. Sales fell 18.3% to $1.12 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $1.19 billion, as the 18.3% decline in same-store sales was much more than expectations of a 13.2% drop. “[O]ur lower-income consumer was hurt by inflation, lower tax refunds, and higher interest rates, and their confidence has been shaken by banking failures,” said Chief Executive Officer Bruce Thorn. For the second quarter, the company expects same-store sales to be down in the “high-teens” percentage range, compared with the current FactSet consensus of down 8.6%. The company said it was suspending its dividend and expecting $340 million in further asset sales to bolster liquidity. The stock, which is on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular-session hours since December 1991, has tumbled 51% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund XRT has lost 3.9% and the S&P 500 SPX has gained 8.1%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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