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BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. posted net income for the second quarter ended July 30 of $45.7 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, results that significantly exceeded the company’s guidance for net income in the range of $40.5 million to $42.5 million and earnings in the range of 74 cents to 78 cents per diluted share. In the year-ago period, BJ’s reported net income of $35.8 million, or 67 percent per diluted share.
For the first half of 2011, net income came to $79.4 million, or $1.47 per diluted share. Last year, net income was $61.9 million, or $1.16 per diluted share.
“BJ’s outperformance of 10 percent vs. our guidance reflected favorable merchandise margins, higher gas profitability and expense savings that exceeded plan,” said BJ’s president and CEO Laura Sen, president and CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s, which operates 190 wholesale clubs in 15 states. “It is clear that our members are doing more of their weekly food shopping with us. And I believe that we have tremendous opportunities to further grow our business.”
Net sales for the second quarter of 2011 increased 11.0 percent to $2.98 billion and comparable-club sales increased 7.8 percent, including a contribution from sales of gas of 4.0 percent. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased 3.8 percent.
Competition and cannibalization had an estimated negative impact of about 1.6 percent. Excluding the impact of gas, member traffic was essentially flat, following a 4 percent increase in last year’s second quarter. The average transaction amount increased by about 3 percent, following a 1 percent decline in last year’s second quarter.
Food sales rose about 5 percent for the second year in a row, driven primarily by an 8 percent increase in perishable foods. On a two-year stacked basis, comparable-club sales of perishable foods grew about 16 percent. General merchandise sales rose about 1 percent for the second quarter, following a slight decrease in last year’s second quarter.
Departments with the strongest comparable comps included beauty care, computer equipment, coffee, cookies, dairy, deli, lawn and garden, meat, prepared foods, produce, salty snacks, and summer seasonal. Among the departments with weaker sales vs. last year were books, televisions, toys and video games.