Big Lots Is Biggest S&P Laggard

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Discount retailer Big Lots ( BIG) was the worst performer in the S&P 500 midday Friday.

The S&P 500 was down 2.75 points to 1,371.34 midday Friday.

Shares of Big Lots fell 4.61% to $42.44. The company on Friday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $114.7 million, or $1.75 a share, up from year-ago earnings of $110.1 million, or $1.46 a share. Analysts were expecting profit of $1.73 a share.

However, Big Lots forecast first-quarter adjusted earnings of 75 cents to 81 cents a share, below analysts' estimates of 82 cents.

"The only blemish (if you will) we see is the FY12 guidance assumes greater Canadian dilution than we were modeling (loss of $0.21-$0.26 vs. DB @ a loss $0.08)," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report on Friday. "Said differently, BIG's FY12 U.S. guidance was likely much better than the Street was expecting with a greater drag from Canada at the same time."

Big Lots has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 11.16 times; the average for broad-line retailers is 26.57. For comparison, Wal-Mart ( WMT) has a lower forward P/E of 11.09; Target's ( TGT) forward P/E is 11.78.

Ten of the 17 analysts who cover Big Lots rated it buy; seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Big Lots a B grade with a buy rating and $57.36 price target. The stock has risen 12.31% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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