Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

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

Shares of Big Lots (BIG) opened at 48.07 on Friday. Big Lots has a 52 week low of $42.40 and a 52 week high of $56.54. The company has a 50-day moving average of $49.50 and a 200 day moving average of $49.09. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.46 and a beta of 0.92.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 25th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.05. Big Lots had a net margin of 3.31% and a return on equity of 30.32%. The business had revenue of $1.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.21 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Big Lots will post $4.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. Big Lots’s payout ratio is currently 26.04%.

In related news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 28,875 shares of the company’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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 225,018 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,259,900.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Michael Allen Schlonsky sold 2,602 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total transaction of $124,896.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 34,706 shares in the company, valued at $1,665,888. 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 over the last 90 days. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Paloma Partners Management Co lifted its stake in shares of Big Lots by 44.6% during the 1st quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 33,287 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,621,000 after buying an additional 10,269 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Big Lots by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,611,995 shares of the company’s stock valued at $78,474,000 after buying an additional 12,308 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted 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 buying an additional 5,946,417 shares in the last quarter. Capital One National Association lifted its stake in shares of Big Lots by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital One National Association now owns 43,119 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,083,000 after buying an additional 2,159 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lucus Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $406,000.

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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