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BJ's Club Shares Rise 18% on Q1 Comparable Store Net Sales Growth of 19.9%

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Shares of BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings reached a new 52-week high price today after the company reported that comparable club revenues in Q1/20 excluding gasoline sales increased by 27% year-over-year.

Membership warehouse club BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (BJ:NYSE) today announced financial results for its first quarter 2020 ended May 2, 2020.

The company's President and CEO Lee Delaney commented, "Our top priority remains the health and safety of our members and team members during this challenging time and I am deeply thankful for the contributions of our dedicated team members this past quarter...While the coronavirus pandemic increased demand for our services, our team's hard work and the capabilities we have built over the last four years have enabled us to thrive and deliver very strong merchandise comparable sales. Furthermore, we drove earnings and cash flow growth and invested in our team members and our business. These efforts will allow us to continue to build on this momentum and position ourselves for success over the long-term."

The company reported that comparable club sales for Q1/20 increased 19.9%, compared to Q1/19, and that excluding gasoline sales, comparable sales increased by 27.0% over the same corresponding period. The firm advised that gross profit increased to $736.7 million in Q1/20 compared to $574.2 million in Q1/19.

The company indicated that operating income increased to $143.8 million, or 3.8% of total revenues in Q1/20, versus $70.7 million, or 2.2% of total revenues in Q1/19 and that it posted earnings per diluted share of $0.69 in Q1/20, which reflects a 176.0% increase over Q1/19.

The company also stated that it repurchased 175,000 shares of common stock totaling $4.0 million early in the quarter under its share repurchase program.

The company noted that in response to COVID-19 it has implemented a number of operational changes to support team members, members and communities it serves. Specifically, it has increased all hourly team members wages by an additional $2 per hour, distributed special incremental bonuses for managers and key personnel and enacted an emergency paid leave policy to support team members during the pandemic.

The firm stated that it has also implemented operational measures to encourage social distancing in clubs including adding instructional signage, providing personal protective equipment to all team members, adding enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures and installing mobile and fixed sneeze-guard barriers at membership desks, checkout lanes and exits.

BJ's Wholesale Club is based in Westborough, Mass., and operates 218 membership warehouse clubs and 146 gas locations in 16 states in the Eastern U.S. The company reports that it has 5.5 million members and posts total annual sales of approximately $12.7 billion.

BJ's Wholesale Club started the day with a market capitalization of around $4.0 billion with approximately 138.5 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 9.3%. BJ shares opened 7% higher today at $31.00 (+$2.07, +7.16%) over yesterday's $28.93 closing price and reached a new 52-week high price this afternoon of $33.85. The stock has traded today between $30.39 and $34.45 per share and is currently trading at $33.37 (+$5.40, +18.64%).

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