Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) gapped up prior to trading on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $50.72, but opened at $51.10. Big Lots shares last traded at $52.56, with a volume of 639,228 shares changing hands.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on BIG. Zacks Investment Research cut Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. began coverage on Big Lots in a research note on Friday, June 3rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $52.35 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “underperform” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Big Lots in a research note on Friday, March 25th. Deutsche Bank AG cut Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $49.00 to $47.00 in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. Finally, MKM Partners upped their price objective on Big Lots from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Big Lots presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.78.

The firm has a market cap of $2.33 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.48. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $50.11 and its 200-day moving average is $44.00.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 27th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.60 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Big Lots Inc. will post $3.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 24th. Investors of record on Friday, June 10th were issued a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 8th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.60%.

In other Big Lots news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 49,805 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.05, for a total value of $2,492,740.25. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 186,636 shares in the company, valued at $9,341,131.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael Allen Schlonsky sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.27, for a total value of $754,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 51,439 shares in the company, valued at $2,585,838.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BIG. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 359.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 616,453 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,758,000 after buying an additional 482,308 shares during the last quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the fourth quarter valued at about $11,766,000. Olstein Capital Management L.P. raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 22.3% in the fourth quarter. Olstein Capital Management L.P. now owns 253,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,751,000 after buying an additional 46,100 shares during the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,646,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,773,209 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,339,000 after buying an additional 27,655 shares during the last quarter.

Big Lots, Inc is a United States-based discount retailer. As of December 31, 2014, the Company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, operated 1,460 stores in 48 states. The Company’s Food category includes beverage and grocery, candy and snacks, and specialty foods. Its Consumables category includes health and beauty, plastics, paper, chemical and pet departments.

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