Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $53.45 and last traded at $52.92, with a volume of 856,994 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $52.73.

BIG has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Topeka Capital Markets initiated coverage on Big Lots in a report on Monday, May 23rd. They set a “hold” rating and a $42.00 target price for the company. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. initiated coverage on Big Lots in a report on Friday, June 3rd. They set an “outperform” rating and a $52.35 target price for the company. MKM Partners lifted their target price on Big Lots from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 31st. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $39.00 target price on shares of Big Lots in a report on Friday, March 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lowered Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $49.00 to $47.00 in a report on Monday, May 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.78.

The firm has a market capitalization of $2.28 billion and a P/E ratio of 17.08. The company has a 50-day moving average of $50.91 and a 200 day moving average of $44.18.

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

The firm also recently disclosed 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. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 8th.

In related news, Director Jeffrey Paul Berger sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $397,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 16,302 shares in the company, valued at approximately $864,006. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Andrew D. Stein sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $530,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 26,990 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,430,470. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have bought and sold shares of BIG. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Big Lots by 70.6% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 60,527 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,333,000 after buying an additional 25,047 shares during the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in shares of Big Lots during the fourth quarter worth $1,646,000. 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 worth $68,339,000 after buying an additional 27,655 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Big Lots by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 186,103 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,171,000 after buying an additional 1,833 shares during the period. Finally, 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 worth $9,751,000 after buying an additional 46,100 shares during the period.

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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