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

According to Zacks, “Big Lots’ second-quarter fiscal 2017 marked the seventh straight quarter of positive earnings surprise. Top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate after missing the same in the trailing four quarters on account of robust performance of furniture and soft home. Following the results, management raised fiscal 2017 earnings view but remained somewhat cautious about its sales and comparable store sales performance due to softness in hard home and electronics. Management’s conservative sales guidance hurt investor sentiment, as a result the stock has underperformed the industry in a month. Big Lots now projects full year sales growth in the range of 2-2.5% versus 2-3% earlier. Meanwhile, its furniture financing programs have been consistently gaining traction. However, the challenging retail landscape, aggressive promotional strategies and waning store traffic might weigh on the performance. Of late, estimates have been falling.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $55.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Loop Capital set a $64.00 target price on shares of Big Lots and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $60.00 target price on shares of Big Lots and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up previously from $61.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Six 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 stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $57.42.

Shares of Big Lots (BIG) traded down 0.06% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $47.68. 28,137 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $2.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.36 and a beta of 0.92. Big Lots has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $56.54. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $49.47 and a 200-day moving average of $49.17.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 25th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.05. Big Lots had a net margin of 3.31% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The company had revenue of $1.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.21 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Big Lots will post $4.24 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Michael Allen Schlonsky sold 2,602 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $124,896.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 34,706 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,665,888. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Russell Solt sold 2,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $108,150.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10,041 shares in the company, valued at $517,111.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,577 shares of company stock worth $3,717,951 over the last quarter. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd grew its stake in Big Lots by 17.3% in the 2nd quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 12,880 shares of the company’s stock valued at $622,000 after buying an additional 1,897 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in Big Lots by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 23,978 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,158,000 after buying an additional 369 shares during the last quarter. Dean Capital Management grew its stake in Big Lots by 51.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dean Capital Management now owns 65,815 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,179,000 after buying an additional 22,430 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Big Lots by 21.7% in the 2nd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 15,655 shares of the company’s stock valued at $756,000 after buying an additional 2,794 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 361 Capital LLC grew its stake in Big Lots by 94.4% in the 2nd quarter. 361 Capital LLC now owns 35,574 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,718,000 after buying an additional 17,278 shares during the last quarter.

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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