Burlington Stores Inc. shares were up 1.5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount retailer blew past earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter. New Jersey-based Burlington said it had net income of $171 million, or $2.51 a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $333.7 million, or $5.09 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.59, well ahead of the 83 cents FactSet consensus. Revenue climbed to $2.193 billion from $801.5 million, also well ahead of the $1.776 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 20%, "There were numerous factors that contributed to improved traffic and consumer spending in the quarter - including the latest stimulus checks, the pace of the vaccine roll-out, and pent-up consumer demand," Chief Executive Michael O'Sullivan said in a statement. The second quarter is "off to a good start, but the go-forward sales trend remains very difficult to predict. Meanwhile, expense headwinds in supply chain and freight have continued to deteriorate, and these are likely to weigh on our operating margin throughout the balance of the year," he added. The company is not offering earnings guidance due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic but expects to open 100 stores this year. Shares have gained 25% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11.7%.
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