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

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on BIG. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Big Lots and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $61.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective (up previously from $56.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $57.42.

Shares of Big Lots (BIG) opened at 47.81 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $49.47 and its 200-day moving average is $49.17. Big Lots has a 12 month low of $42.40 and a 12 month high of $56.54. The company has a market cap of $2.06 billion, a PE ratio of 12.39 and a beta of 0.92.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 25th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating 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 firm had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.21 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.52 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Big Lots will post $4.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, insider Lisa M. Bachmann sold 40,000 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $2,040,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 48,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,452,539. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO David J. Campisi sold 28,875 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.04, for a total transaction of $1,444,905.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 225,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,259,900.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 73,577 shares of company stock worth $3,717,951 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BIG. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Big Lots by 3,846.5% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,101,011 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,996,000 after purchasing an additional 5,946,417 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Big Lots by 105.1% during the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 813,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,276,000 after acquiring an additional 416,770 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in Big Lots by 206.9% during the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 547,890 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,671,000 after acquiring an additional 369,367 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Big Lots by 7.2% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,474,133 shares of the company’s stock worth $266,480,000 after acquiring an additional 368,464 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Balyasny Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Big Lots by 43.3% during the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,080,139 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,171,000 after acquiring an additional 326,620 shares in 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Big Lots (NYSE:BIG)

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