Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,397,973 shares, a decrease of 15.6% from the March 15th total of 15,872,502 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 6,029,419 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.2 days. Approximately 2.1% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) opened at 9.74 on Friday. The firm’s market capitalization is $6.36 billion. Staples has a 12 month low of $7.24 and a 12 month high of $10.83. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $9.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $8.93.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 9th. The specialty retailer reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.01. Staples had a positive return on equity of 11.46% and a negative net margin of 2.25%. The company had revenue of $4.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.03 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.26 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Staples will post $0.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 24th were paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 22nd. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.93%. Staples’s dividend payout ratio is -66.67%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Concert Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in Staples by 1.2% in the third quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. now owns 12,099 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its stake in Staples by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 37,293 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $338,000 after buying an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. Eads & Heald Investment Counsel raised its stake in Staples by 1.8% in the third quarter. Eads & Heald Investment Counsel now owns 14,025 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 245 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its stake in Staples by 0.3% in the third quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 97,758 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $836,000 after buying an additional 308 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TCW Group Inc. raised its stake in Staples by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 114,907 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,040,000 after buying an additional 402 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.71% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Staples from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Loop Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $10.00 target price on shares of Staples in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 target price on shares of Staples in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc raised Staples from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.65.

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Staples Company Profile

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.

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