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

Several analysts have commented on BIG shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Big Lots from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Big Lots in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Northcoast Research lowered Big Lots from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on Big Lots from $53.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 6th. Finally, MKM Partners raised 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. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.45.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $52.15 and its 200-day moving average is $46.44. The company has a market capitalization of $2.45 billion and a PE ratio of 18.38.

Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) last announced its earnings results on Friday, May 27th. The company reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.12. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.60 EPS. The business had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter. Big Lots’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Big Lots Inc. will post $3.47 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Russell Solt sold 3,000 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.10, for a total value of $156,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,377 shares in the company, valued at $644,841.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Lisa M. Bachmann sold 50,000 shares of Big Lots stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.05, for a total value of $2,502,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 125,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,273,817.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. increased its position in 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 worth $1,289,000 after buying an additional 11,345 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Big Lots during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,646,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its position in Big Lots by 359.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 616,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,758,000 after buying an additional 482,308 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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