(BIG) Big Lots Incorporated – Bear of the Day

Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) second-quarter 2012 earnings of $0.36 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.41 and plunged 28% from $0.50 earned in the year-ago quarter. Though total revenue did increase 4.4% to $1,218 million, it fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,240 million. Margins also remained under pressure, while gross margin shriveled 30 basis points, operating margin contracted 190 basis points.

The disappointing results compelled management to lower its fiscal 2012 earnings guidance to a range of $2.80 to $2.95 per share from $3.25 to 3.40 forecasted earlier. For fiscal 2012, the company expects U.S. comparable-store sales to decline in the low-single-digit range.

We have a long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock. Our target price of $27.00, 9.4X 2012 EPS, reflects this view.

Zacks Investment Research

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