Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Big Lots’ shares have outperformed the industry in the past three months 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, both furniture financing programs and soft home 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 stable for both third quarter and fiscal 2017.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on BIG. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Big Lots from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $52.00 price target on shares of Big Lots and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Sunday, October 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a buy rating on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and issued a $57.00 price target (up from $56.00) on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Saturday, August 26th. Finally, KeyCorp restated a buy rating on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $57.83.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) opened at 52.10 on Monday. Big Lots has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $56.54. The company has a market capitalization of $2.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.50 and a beta of 0.96. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $50.16 and a 200-day moving average of $49.19.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 25th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.21 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.52 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Big Lots will post $4.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.92%. Big Lots’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.04%.

In related news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 96,940 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $5,137,820.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 99,203 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,257,759. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO David J. Campisi sold 28,875 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 225,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,259,900.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 171,517 shares of company stock valued at $8,906,771. 1.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Big Lots by 3,846.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,101,011 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,996,000 after buying an additional 5,946,417 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Big Lots by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,474,133 shares of the company’s stock valued at $266,480,000 after buying an additional 368,464 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in Big Lots by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,363,889 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,175,000 after buying an additional 175,972 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in Big Lots by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 2,240,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,193,000 after purchasing an additional 32,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its holdings in Big Lots by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,640,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,233,000 after purchasing an additional 28,509 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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