Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund lowered its stake in Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) by 4.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 136,926 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock after selling 6,992 shares during the period. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s holdings in Staples were worth $1,201,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in shares of Staples by 50.4% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,505,706 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $38,524,000 after buying an additional 1,510,800 shares during the period. South Texas Money Management Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Staples during the third quarter valued at approximately $7,889,000. Flippin Bruce & Porter Inc. increased its stake in shares of Staples by 7.5% in the third quarter. Flippin Bruce & Porter Inc. now owns 572,857 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $4,898,000 after buying an additional 39,864 shares during the period. Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Staples by 0.8% in the third quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 34,174,464 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $292,192,000 after buying an additional 270,163 shares during the period. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP increased its stake in Staples by 2,171.1% in the third quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP now owns 518,492 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $4,433,000 after buying an additional 495,662 shares during the last quarter. 92.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS)

Staples, Inc. (SPLS) traded down 2.11% during trading on Friday, reaching $8.80. 8,898,807 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Staples, Inc. has a 12 month low of $7.24 and a 12 month high of $10.25. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $9.20 and a 200-day moving average of $9.25. The stock’s market cap is $5.75 billion.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 23rd will be paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 21st. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.45%. Staples’s dividend payout ratio is currently -13.30%.

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SPLS has been the subject of several research reports. Loop Capital reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $10.00 price target on shares of Staples in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. Citigroup Inc. raised shares of Staples from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Staples from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 20th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Staples in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 price target on shares of Staples in a research report on Saturday, March 11th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $9.06.

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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