Burlington Stock Delivers a Surprise as Retailer Tops Earnings Estimates

Burlington Stores Inc. saw its stock pop in the green after posting first-quarter earnings that barely met Wall Street estimates, initially sending shares down in Thursday’s premarket trading.

Shares for the off-price retailer bounced back 10% to $160 on Thursday morning. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.26 per share — one cent higher than forecasted. It marks the third time Burlington surpassed consensus bets over the last four quarters.

The department store chain also recorded revenues that climbed 7.3% to $1.63 billion, ahead of the $1.62 billion expected. However, profits decreased 2% to $85 million, and same-store sales rose only 1%, compared with expectations of a gain of 0.6%.

“While our first-quarter sales results came in at the low end of our expectations, our disciplined expense management enabled us to exceed the high end of our recently updated adjusted earnings per share guidance,” CEO Tom Kingsbury said in a statement. “Although we saw strength in our children’s apparel, baby depot and home businesses, we remain very focused on improving our underperforming ladies apparel business.”

In recent years, the Burlington, N.J.-based company has made a number of progressive business steps, ditching massive promotions, enhancing its stores’ treasure-hunt experience and expanding its merchandise assortment. (It dropped the name “Coat Factory” in 2009.) Kingsbury’s turnaround strategy was instrumental in helping grow Burlington’s share price from around $30 in 2014 to a recent high of $180 late last year.

For the full year, Burlington now expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $6.93 to $7.01, with same-store sales up 1.3% to 2.1%.

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