Big Lots (BIG) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Big Lots’ shares have slumped in the past three months, owing to dismal bottom-line performance that continued in third-quarter fiscal 2018. With this, the company witnessed negative earnings surprises in the last three quarters. Based on the soft results and a flattish start to the next quarter, the company trimmed its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018. Further, soft margins trend due to higher costs remains a headwind. However, sales beat estimates and improved year over year in the fiscal third quarter, on the back of solid comps and the fiscal calendar shift. Additionally, the company’s Store of the Future initiative and the e-commerce business bode well. These along with the company’s commitment to boost shareholder value through dividends and share buybacks should bolster investors’ confidence.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Citigroup dropped their price target on shares of Big Lots from $51.00 to $36.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 10th. Deutsche Bank set a $38.00 price target on shares of Big Lots and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, December 10th. Bank of America started coverage on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Monday, November 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $56.00 price target on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Big Lots from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Monday, December 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut shares of Big Lots from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $43.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Monday, January 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.25.

Big Lots stock opened at $31.94 on Tuesday. Big Lots has a 1 year low of $26.21 and a 1 year high of $59.11. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.18, a P/E/G ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a current ratio of 1.71.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, December 7th. The company reported ($0.16) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.01) by ($0.15). Big Lots had a net margin of 2.91% and a return on equity of 26.11%. The company had revenue of $1.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.14 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.06 EPS. Big Lots’s revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Big Lots will post 3.66 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Bruce K. Thorn acquired 8,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 14th. The shares were bought at an average price of $29.46 per share, for a total transaction of $250,410.00. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 8,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $250,410. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 117.1% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 662,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,706,000 after acquiring an additional 357,611 shares during the period. Scout Investments Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 356.6% during the 3rd quarter. Scout Investments Inc. now owns 450,169 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,813,000 after acquiring an additional 351,572 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 117.2% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 582,059 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,316,000 after acquiring an additional 314,080 shares during the period. Tributary Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Big Lots during the 3rd quarter worth $10,602,000. Finally, Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Big Lots by 385.5% during the 3rd quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 301,875 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,615,000 after acquiring an additional 239,700 shares during the period.

Big Lots Company Profile

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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