Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released 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 have also issued research reports about the company. Deutsche Bank AG raised Big Lots from a hold rating to a buy rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $55.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Loop Capital set a $64.00 price objective on Big Lots and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $60.00 price objective on Big Lots and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. BidaskClub raised Big Lots from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reissued a buy rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $61.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Big Lots has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $57.42.

Shares of Big Lots (NYSE BIG) opened at 47.80 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $49.46 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.16. Big Lots has a 12 month low of $42.40 and a 12 month high of $56.54. The company has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.39 and a beta of 0.92.

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

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Big Lots’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.04%.

In other news, insider Lisa M. Bachmann sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $2,040,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 48,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,452,539. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Michael Allen Schlonsky sold 2,602 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were 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 directly owns 34,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,665,888. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 73,577 shares of company stock valued at $3,717,951. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 1,897 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 369 shares during the last quarter. Dean Capital Management lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 22,430 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 2,794 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 361 Capital LLC lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring 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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