Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Big Lots have outperformed the industry in the past three months. The company's strategic endeavors, recent uptrend in the gross margin and positive earnings surprise streak in the last six quarters, all indicate that stock is likely to carry the momentum going forward. In the first-quarter fiscal 2017, the company not only reported robust earnings but also surpassed the guidance range provided previously. Moreover, following better-than-expected first-quarter earnings the company raised fiscal 2017 guidance and now expects adjusted earnings in the $4.05–$4.20, up from the earlier guidance of $3.95–$4.10. While the company’s dismal top-line performance in the trailing four quarters has been a cause of worry, its furniture financing programs has been consistently gaining traction. Further, the challenging retail landscape, aggressive promotional strategies and waning store traffic might weigh on the performance.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on BIG. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded shares of Big Lots from a “market perform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $60.00 price target on shares of Big Lots and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 27th. Loop Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up from $61.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Big Lots presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.00.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) traded up 1.24% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 487,557 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.73 and a beta of 0.85. Big Lots has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $56.54. The company’s 50-day moving average is $48.95 and its 200 day moving average is $49.40.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 26th. The company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.16. Big Lots had a net margin of 3.20% and a return on equity of 29.88%. The company had revenue of $1.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Big Lots will post $4.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Big Lots news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 28,875 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.04, for a total value of $1,444,905.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 225,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,259,900.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Lisa M. Bachmann sold 40,000 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $2,040,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 48,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,452,539. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 70,975 shares of company stock valued at $3,593,055 over the last ninety days. 1.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BIG. Huntington National Bank boosted its stake in Big Lots by 88.9% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 2,065 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 972 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC purchased a new stake in Big Lots during the first quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Neuburgh Advisers LLC boosted its stake in Big Lots by 14.3% in the first quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 2,112 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 264 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Big Lots by 13.6% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 280 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new stake in Big Lots during the first quarter valued at approximately $123,000.

Big Lots Company Profile

Big Lots, Inc is a non-traditional, discount retailer operating in the United States. As of January 28, 2017, the Company operated a total of 1,432 stores. The Company operates through the discount retailing segment. As of January 28, 2017, the Company’s stores are located at various states of the United States, such as Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.

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Analyst Recommendations for Big Lots (NYSE:BIG)

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