Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Big Lots’ shares have outperformed the industry in the past six months 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 issued reports on BIG. Telsey Advisory Group upped their price target on Big Lots from $56.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Monday. Citigroup set a $69.00 price target on Big Lots and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday. Oppenheimer set a $60.00 price target on Big Lots and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Big Lots from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $60.64.

Shares of Big Lots (NYSE BIG) traded up $0.97 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $58.96. The stock had a trading volume of 1,592,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,023,039. Big Lots has a 1-year low of $45.10 and a 1-year high of $60.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,500.00, a P/E ratio of 14.01, a PEG ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 0.24 and a current ratio of 1.66.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, December 1st. The company reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.02. The business 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%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.04 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Big Lots will post 4.27 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. Big Lots’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.51%.

In other Big Lots news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 96,940 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $5,137,820.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 99,203 shares in the company, valued at $5,257,759. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Ronald A. Robins, Jr. sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $51,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 7,925 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $404,175. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its stake in Big Lots by 13.6% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 280 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 78.3% during the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 2,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,000 after purchasing an additional 1,255 shares during the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the third quarter worth approximately $178,000. First Quadrant L P CA purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the third quarter worth approximately $182,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 19.4% during the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,668 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 596 shares during the last quarter.

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Big Lots Company Profile

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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