Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG) shares reached a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $55.90 and last traded at $54.67, with a volume of 536,797 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $53.97.

A number of research firms have commented on BIG. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 target price on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Northcoast Research downgraded shares of Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Citigroup Inc. raised their target price on shares of Big Lots from $53.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 6th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. started coverage on shares of Big Lots in a research report on Friday, June 3rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $52.35 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Big Lots has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.45.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $51.83 and its 200 day moving average is $46.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.43 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.24.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last issued its earnings results on Friday, May 27th. The company reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.12. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.60 earnings per share. The firm earned $1.31 billion during the quarter. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Big Lots Inc. will post $3.47 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO David J. Campisi sold 49,805 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 27th. The shares were 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 owns 186,636 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,341,131.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Lisa M. Bachmann sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.05, for a total transaction of $2,502,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 125,351 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,273,817.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BIG. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Big Lots by 70.6% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 60,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,333,000 after buying an additional 25,047 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new position in shares of Big Lots during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,646,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position 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 valued at $7,171,000 after buying an additional 1,833 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Big Lots by 51.3% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 33,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,289,000 after buying an additional 11,345 shares in 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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