Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) has been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the nine research firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $9.04.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on SPLS shares. Citigroup Inc raised shares of Staples from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $9.00 price objective on shares of Staples in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. Loop Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $10.00 price objective on shares of Staples in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Staples from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Staples in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its position in Staples by 6.8% in the first quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 11,640 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 744 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC bought a new position in Staples during the first quarter worth approximately $102,000. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. boosted its position in Staples by 13.9% in the first quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. now owns 12,300 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in Staples by 0.7% in the first quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. now owns 12,065 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 82 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Staples during the second quarter worth approximately $109,000. 94.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) traded down 0.10% on Tuesday, hitting $10.10. 5,785,974 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Staples has a 12 month low of $7.24 and a 12 month high of $10.25. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $9.09 and its 200 day moving average is $9.21. The firm’s market cap is $6.60 billion.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 16th. The specialty retailer reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.17. Staples had a negative net margin of 12.51% and a positive return on equity of 14.07%. The company had revenue of $4.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.50 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.17 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Staples will post $0.88 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 23rd were paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 21st. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.75%. Staples’s dividend payout ratio is presently -13.30%.

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About Staples

Staples, Inc (Staples) is a provider of products and services that serve the needs of business customers and consumers. The Company offers a range of print and marketing and technology services. The Company’s segments include North American Delivery, North American Retail and Other. The North American Delivery segment consists of the United States and Canadian businesses, including Staples Business Advantage, staples.com, staples.ca, and quill.com, that sell and deliver products and services primarily to businesses.

Analyst Recommendations for Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS)

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