The comeback at Big Lots has begun

Big Lots on Friday said fiscal first-quarter sales rose slightly, helping the company top expectations amid positive signs of a turnaround.  Revenue for the discount retailer rose 1.1 percent to $1.28 billion, above analysts' estimates of $1.26 billion. Same-store sales, a key measure of a retailer's health, increased 1 percent for the quarter.

"We are in the middle of part three of our (rebound) strategy — and that's the heavy lifting, the execution," CEO David Campisi said during a conference call with analysts.

Expenses related to exiting Canadian operations substantially reduced net earnings for Big Lots in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2013, net income fell 90 percent to $3.35 million from $32.33 million. Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) announced in December that it would close all stores across Canada due to lack of capital and stiff competition from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Canadian newcomer Target (NYSE:TGT).  Story