UPDATE 1-Big Lots 2nd-qtr profit outlook misses Street estimates

Wed May 23, 2012 7:04am EDT

* Q1 adj EPS $0.68 vs est $0.69

* Sees Q2 EPS $0.37-$0.42 vs est $0.54

* Sees FY12 adj EPS $3.25-$3.40

May 23 (Reuters) - Close-out retailer Big Lots Inc posted a lower-than-expected adjusted profit for the first quarter and forecast earnings that fell well below Wall Street estimates for the current quarter, hurt by declining margins.

The company, which stocks products that have been overproduced, discontinued, or rejected by other retailers, said it expects to earn 37 cents to 42 cents from continuing operations in the current quarter.

Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings of 54 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Big Lots's first-quarter earnings fell to $40.7 million, or 63 cents per share, from $52.5 million, or 70 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time charges related to a change in how the company accounted for its inventory, Big Lots had earnings of 68 cents per share, below the 69 cents analysts anticipated.

Net profit margin declined to 3.1 percent from 4.3 percent a year ago.

Sales rose 5.4 percent to $1.29 billion.

Big Lots' shares closed at $34.79 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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