Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) is one of 12 public companies in the “Variety stores” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Big Lots to similar companies based on the strength of its earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and valuation.

Dividends

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Big Lots pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Big Lots pays out 27.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Variety stores” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.6% and pay out 36.6% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Big Lots has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Big Lots is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Big Lots and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Big Lots 0 6 7 0 2.54
Big Lots Competitors 164 1265 1701 90 2.53

Big Lots presently has a consensus price target of $57.27, indicating a potential upside of 31.78%. As a group, “Variety stores” companies have a potential upside of 0.51%. Given Big Lots’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Big Lots is more favorable than its peers.

Profitability

This table compares Big Lots and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Big Lots 3.60% 31.12% 11.51%
Big Lots Competitors 3.76% 15.00% 6.64%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Big Lots and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Big Lots $5.27 billion $189.83 million 9.77
Big Lots Competitors $65.63 billion $1.74 billion 22.25

Big Lots’ peers have higher revenue and earnings than Big Lots. Big Lots is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

76.5% of shares of all “Variety stores” companies are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of Big Lots shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 13.8% of shares of all “Variety stores” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Big Lots has a beta of 1.13, meaning that its share price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Big Lots’ peers have a beta of 0.89, meaning that their average share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Big Lots beats its peers on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Big Lots

Big Lots, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a non-traditional, discount retailer in the United States. The company offers products under various merchandising categories, such as food category that includes beverage and grocery, candy and snacks, and specialty foods departments; consumables category, which comprises health and beauty, plastics, paper, chemical, and pet departments; soft home category that consists of home décor, frames, fashion bedding, utility bedding, bath, window, decorative textile, and area rugs departments; hard home category, including small appliances, table top, food preparation, stationery, greeting cards, and home maintenance departments; and furniture category consisting of upholstery, mattress, ready-to-assemble, and case goods departments. It also provides merchandise under the seasonal category that includes lawn and garden, summer, Christmas, and other holiday departments; and electronics, toys, and accessories category, including electronics, jewelry, hosiery, toys, and infant accessories departments. As of November 7, 2017, it operated 1,428 stores in 47 states. Big Lots, Inc. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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