Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Big Lots (BIG) to “Buy”

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $69.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 12.12% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Big Lots’ shares have outperformed the industry in a year owing to better-than-expected earnings for the eighth straight quarter and encouraging earnings outlook. Meanwhile, both furniture financing programs and soft home have been consistently gaining traction. Following third-quarter fiscal 2017 results, management raised fiscal 2017 earnings guidance but remained somewhat cautious about sales and comparable store sales performance. Sales growth for the full year is predicted to increase by 2%, compared with earlier guided range of 2-2.5%. Moreover, challenging retail landscape, aggressive promotional strategies and waning store traffic might weigh on the performance. Softness in electronics, toys and accessories also remains a concern. Gross margins, which have declined in the second and third quarter is expected to fall further in the final quarter of 2017.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on BIG. Loop Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Monday. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Citigroup set a $69.00 price objective on Big Lots and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. Telsey Advisory Group increased their price objective on Big Lots from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reissued a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Big Lots in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $61.73.

Shares of Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) traded down $0.41 on Wednesday, hitting $61.54. The company had a trading volume of 465,142 shares, compared to its average volume of 994,907. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,699.34, a P/E ratio of 15.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.99. Big Lots has a one year low of $45.10 and a one year high of $64.42.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, December 1st. The company reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.11 billion. Big Lots had a return on equity of 30.17% and a net margin of 3.36%. Big Lots’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.04 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Big Lots will post 4.29 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Timothy A. Johnson sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $1,100,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 65,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,610,695. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jeffrey Paul Berger sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $348,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,566 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $438,828. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BIG. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 160.7% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 560,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,223,000 after acquiring an additional 345,700 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 37.0% in the third quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,121,899 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,100,000 after acquiring an additional 303,207 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Big Lots by 4.2% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,462,092 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,894,000 after buying an additional 98,203 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its position in shares of Big Lots by 1,573.3% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 100,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,377,000 after buying an additional 94,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in shares of Big Lots by 36.8% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 304,663 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,317,000 after buying an additional 81,964 shares in the last quarter.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Big Lots (NYSE:BIG)

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