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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Big Lots (BIG) were declining in early-afternoon trading on Wednesday ahead of the company's 2016 second quarter results due out before Friday's opening bell.

Analysts are expecting earnings and revenue to increase year-over-year.

Wall Street is projecting that the Columbus, OH-based discount retailer will post earnings of 46 cents per share on revenue of $1.22 billion.

During the same quarter last year, the company earned 40 cents per diluted share on revenue of $1.21 billion.

MKM Partners has a "buy" rating and $60 price target on shares of Big Lots ahead of the quarterly report. The firm expects comparable-store sales to increase 1% during the period.

"We believe the quarter started off a bit soft in May but picked up in June-July, driven in part by the late arrival of warm weather and in part by an acceleration in furniture (22% of annual sales) on new training programs and the new private-label credit card," MKM wrote in a recent analyst note.

The firm noted that spring and summer merchandise, such as lawn and garden items, sold "early and well" and some product was not expected to be replenished due to long lead times.

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"We think Big Lots continues to benefit from broad-based merchandising improvement and strong execution of company initiatives," MKM added.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B+ on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and notable return on equity.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: BIG

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