Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Staples, which accepted the buyout offer of Sycamore Partners, has outpaced the industry in the past three months. The company reported in-line earnings for the fifth quarter in row, when it posted second-quarter fiscal 2017 results. Top line also beat estimates. However, both sales and earnings continued to decline year over year. Persistent weakness in the office products sector, technological advancements and stiff competition continue to hurt performance. Nevertheless, Staples' actions to streamline operations aimed at enhancing productivity and performance of North American business bode well. Further, its cost containment efforts that target annualized savings of nearly $300 million by 2018 holds promise. The company is poised to gain from its plans of shutting underperforming stores, boosting online presence and tapping growth opportunities in Pro Categories.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on SPLS. Deutsche Bank AG set a $8.00 price target on Staples and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Staples in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub cut Staples from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Telsey Advisory Group upped their price target on Staples from $9.00 to $10.25 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Loop Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $5.00 price target on shares of Staples in a research note on Friday, May 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.04.

Staples (NASDAQ SPLS) opened at 10.22 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $10.15 and its 200-day moving average is $9.45. Staples has a 52 week low of $7.24 and a 52 week high of $10.25. The firm’s market capitalization is $6.71 billion.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 24th. The specialty retailer reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12. Staples had a negative net margin of 8.53% and a positive return on equity of 15.09%. The company had revenue of $3.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.87 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.12 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Staples will post $0.88 EPS for the current year.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This piece of content was first reported by The Cerbat Gem and is owned by of The Cerbat Gem. If you are reading this piece of content on another publication, it was copied illegally and reposted in violation of U.S. and international trademark & copyright laws. The correct version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/08/27/staples-inc-spls-rating-increased-to-hold-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new stake in Staples during the first quarter worth about $139,000. Concert Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake 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 during the last quarter. Boston Private Wealth LLC boosted its stake in Staples by 8.0% in the first quarter. Boston Private Wealth LLC now owns 121,855 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,069,000 after buying an additional 8,993 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in Staples by 0.3% in the second quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 562,700 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $5,666,000 after buying an additional 1,893 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Staples by 120.4% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 55,650 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $543,000 after buying an additional 30,400 shares during the last quarter. 90.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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)

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Staples Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Staples Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.