Big Lots to report earnings and boost dividend

What's Happening With BIG View more about BIG >

Discount retailer Big Lots (BIG) will report its fourth-quarter results on March 3, and will likely announce a dividend increase at the same time. The consensus calls for earnings of $2.23 per share, up from $2.00 during the same period last year, and the company will release its results before the market open. The stock is up a modest 4.4% on the year.

Technical Analysis

BIG was recently trading at $51.71, down $4.83 from its 12-month high and $12.43 above its 12-month low. Overall technical indicators for BIG are bullish with a weak upward trend. The stock has recent support above $49.25 and recent resistance below $53.75. Of the 11 analysts who cover the stock, three rate it a “strong buy”, and eight rate it a “hold”. The stock receives S&P Capital IQ’s 4 STARS “Buy” ranking.

Analysts' Thoughts

BIG has been on a roller coaster ride over the last six months, with the stock losing ground after each of its last two quarterly reports, only to find support and trend higher ahead of its next report. We saw this occur after its August report, and once again following its December report. The stock has been trending higher over the last month, but the company is going to need a strong Q4 report in order for shares to build on their recent momentum. Last quarter the company posted better-than-expected earnings, but sales lagged the consensus, and Wall Street is skeptical enough on the retail sector that companies such as Big Lots really need to show strength on both the top and bottom lines in order to trade higher. The consensus calls for earnings of $2.23 on revenue of $1.59 billion. If the company misses on either number, the stock is going to trend lower. Big Lots is also likely to announce a dividend increase, which will attract investors as long as the quarterly numbers are good. The company has a 1.64% dividend yield, and a two-year streak of increases. Big Lots has a low payout ratio of 23.3%, so the company can easily afford another increase this year. The last two years the company has boosted its quarterly dividend by two pennies, and a similar increase this year would lift the dividend from $0.21 to $0.23. Look for the increase to be announced along with the quarterly numbers, and the stock to trade ex-dividend mid-March.

About Big Lots Inc.

Big Lots Inc is a U.S.-based company principally engaged in operating discount retail stores. The company provides a broad range of merchandise, including food, consumables, soft home products, hard home products, furniture, electronics and accessories, and seasonal products. The company sources the merchandise from traditional and close-out channels. In addition to merchandise, the company sells gift cards, issues merchandise credits, and more. The company operates stores throughout the United States, with around one third of its stores in California, Texas, Ohio, and Florida.

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  • Change:
    $-0.36 (-1.23%)
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  • Market Capitalization:
    $1.2 B
  • Day's Range:
    $28.29 - $29.42
  • Dividend Yield:
  • 52-week Range:
    $50 - $26.21
  • P-E:
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  • Sector:
    Consumer Defensive
  • Industry:
    Discount Stores
  • Analyst Average Recommendation:
    Moderate Buy

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