Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) saw an uptick in trading volume on Thursday . 9,175,523 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 54% from the previous session’s volume of 5,960,841 shares.The stock last traded at $8.42 and had previously closed at $8.67.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on SPLS. Bank of America Corp. raised Staples from an “underperform” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $8.10 to $10.00 in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Staples in a research report on Sunday, May 22nd. Jefferies Group assumed coverage on Staples in a research report on Thursday, May 19th. They set a “hold” rating and a $9.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Staples from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lowered their price target on Staples from $9.00 to $8.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.31.

The firm has a market cap of $5.48 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.14. The company has a 50-day moving average of $9.02 and a 200-day moving average of $9.40.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 17th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.12. The firm had revenue of $4.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.78 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.12 earnings per share. Staples’s revenue was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Staples Inc. will post $0.90 EPS for the current year.

In related news, General Counsel Michael Williams sold 12,458 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.59, for a total transaction of $107,014.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

Other hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Marshall Wace LLP raised its stake in shares of Staples by 151.0% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 482,843 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,573,000 after buying an additional 290,501 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Staples by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,497,048 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,060,000 after buying an additional 316,995 shares in the last quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. raised its stake in shares of Staples by 68.0% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 259,807 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,460,000 after buying an additional 105,200 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Staples by 8.2% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 26,554,252 shares of the company’s stock valued at $251,468,000 after buying an additional 2,018,462 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of Staples by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 348,424 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,300,000 after buying an additional 25,910 shares in the last quarter.

Staples, Inc is a provider of products and services for business customers and consumers. The Company offers a selection of products, Websites and mobile platforms, and a range of copy, print and technology services. The Company operates through three business segments, which include North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial and International Operations.

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