Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $55.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.38% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Though, Big Lots’ shares have underperformed the industry in a month, the trend might reverse in the near term owing to better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2017 results and encouraging earnings outlook. Moreover, the top line also surpassed 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 guidance but remained somewhat cautious about its sales and comparable store sales performance. Sales growth for the full year is predicted to be in the range of 2-2.5%, compared with earlier guided range of 2-3%. 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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $60.00 target price on shares of Big Lots and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up from $61.00) on shares of Big Lots in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Big Lots in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price objective (up from $56.00) on shares of Big Lots in a report on Saturday, August 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Big Lots currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $57.50.

Big Lots (BIG) traded up 1.11% during trading on Friday, hitting $49.91. 413,780 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $49.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.05. Big Lots has a 52-week low of $42.40 and a 52-week high of $56.54. The company has a market cap of $2.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.94 and a beta of 0.92.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 25th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.05. Big Lots had a net margin of 3.31% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The firm had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.21 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.52 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Big Lots will post $4.24 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 28,875 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $11,259,900.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Michael Allen Schlonsky sold 2,602 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $124,896.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 34,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,665,888. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 73,577 shares of company stock valued at $3,717,951. 1.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BIG. Neuburgh Advisers LLC lifted its position in Big Lots by 14.3% in the first quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 2,112 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 264 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its position in Big Lots by 13.6% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 280 shares during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the first quarter worth $123,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Big Lots by 19.4% during the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,668 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 596 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its position in shares of Big Lots by 1.8% during the second quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,945 shares of the company’s stock worth $191,000 after purchasing an additional 68 shares during the last quarter.

About Big Lots

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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