Will Investors Now Sell Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) Stock Following Today’s, BofA Merrill Downgrades?


Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) Receives a Downgrade

BofA Merrill lowered the rating for shares of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) to aUnderperform from a Buy. The rating change was made public in a comprehensive report earlier today.

From a total of 13 analysts covering Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) stock, 6 rate it a ”Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 10 a ”Hold”. This means that 38% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $21 while the lowest target price is $11. The mean of all analyst targets is $15.46 with a 36.13% above today’s ($9.55) stock price. Staples Inc. was the topic of 7 analyst reports since July 30, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded shares on December 8 to “Sector Weight” rating. Deutsche Bank maintained SPLS stock in a recent report from November 19 with “Hold” rating. Finally, Zacks upgraded the stock to “Sell” rating in a report issued on an August 12.

Approximately 10.78M shares of stock traded hands or 4.36% up from the average. Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) has declined 39.67% since May 8, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 36.65% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has increased to 1.08 in Q2 2015. Its up 0.27, from 0.81 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 45 institutions have sold all the shares of Staples, Inc. that they owned while 171 funds have taken shares off the table. 44 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 190 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 538.03 million shares or 9.41% less than the 593.91 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Oldfield Partners Llp currently is holding shares equating to 12.15% of its total portfolio in Staples, Inc. representing a total of 14.42 million shares. Another fund,Hawkins Capital L.P., is holding a total of 1.20 million shares equating to 6.57% of their holdings. Additionally, Goodhaven Capital Management Llc has a 1.03 million share stake in Staples, Inc. which represents 4.68% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Stelliam Investment Management Lp, based out of New York, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 2.85% of their total portfolio. Finally Pzena Investment Management Llc, a fund which is based in the state of New York reported a total holdings of 25.50 million shares.

Staples, Inc. is a provider of products and services that serve the needs of business clients and consumers. The company has a market cap of $6.37 billion. The Firm offers a selection of products, such as Websites and mobile platforms, retail and online shopping and a range of copy and print and technology services. It has 210.17 P/E ratio. It operates in three business divisions: North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial and International Operations.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Staples.com is creating a leading business-to-business electronic marketplace offering a comprehensive solution for all of the office needs of business customers. Staples.com provides an electronic marketplace where small, mid-sized and large businesses can procure office products and business services and obtain business information and expert content. Staples.com includes the operations of all three of Staples Inc.’s e-commerce sites: Staples.com, Quillcorp.com and StaplesLink.com. (PRESS RELEASE)” Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Staples, Inc. (SPLS).