Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Despite reporting better-than-expected earnings in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017, shares of Big Lots have declined sharply. The decrease in share price can be primarily attributed to lower-than-expected comparable store sales (comps) and net sales in the quarter, and soft first-quarter as well as fiscal 2018 projections. Though, the company’s fiscal 2018 earnings is projected to increase year over year, the metric was still below the consensus estimate. Meanwhile, financing programs and soft home continues to impress investors. Additionally, management has been expanding assortments in this category by including lawn and garden items, such as patio furniture, gazebos and gas grills. Also, gross margin that have witnessed a decline in the trailing two quarters expanded in the fourth quarter. However, challenging retail landscape, aggressive promotional strategies and waning store traffic might weigh on the performance.”
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. MKM Partners set a $58.00 price target on Big Lots and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Northcoast Research reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Loop Capital reissued a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Big Lots presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.25.
Shares of Big Lots opened at $42.65 on Monday, according to Marketbeat. Big Lots has a 52-week low of $42.17 and a 52-week high of $43.02. The company has a market capitalization of $1.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a current ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30.
Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last announced its earnings results on Friday, March 9th. The company reported $2.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.43 by $0.14. Big Lots had a return on equity of 31.12% and a net margin of 3.60%. The company had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.65 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.26 EPS. Big Lots’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Big Lots will post 4.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Big Lots declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Friday, March 9th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 20,657 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.73, for a total value of $903,330.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 170,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,458,588.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO David J. Campisi sold 25,414 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.29, for a total value of $1,201,828.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BIG. Sei Investments Co. grew its stake in shares of Big Lots by 488.2% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 753,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,515,000 after purchasing an additional 625,395 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership bought a new position in shares of Big Lots in the fourth quarter worth $25,598,000. J. Goldman & Co LP bought a new position in shares of Big Lots in the fourth quarter worth $21,077,000. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake 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 purchasing an additional 345,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of Big Lots by 77.0% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 770,430 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,536,000 after purchasing an additional 335,105 shares in the last quarter.
About Big Lots
Big Lots, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as a community retailer in the United States. The company offers products under various merchandising categories, such as furniture category that includes upholstery, mattress, case goods, and ready-to-assemble departments; seasonal category, which comprises Christmas trim, lawn and garden, summer, and other holiday departments; soft home category that consists of fashion and utility bedding, bath, window, decorative textile, home organization, area rugs, home décor, and frames departments; and food category that includes beverage and grocery, candy and snacks, and specialty foods departments.
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