Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) saw a large growth in short interest in July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 14,566,334 shares, a growth of 113.9% from the June 30th total of 6,808,314 shares. Approximately 2.2% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 14,117,922 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.0 days.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on SPLS shares. Loop Capital reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $10.00 price objective on shares of Staples in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $8.00 price objective on shares of Staples and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Staples in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Citigroup Inc. upgraded shares of Staples from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group boosted their price target on shares of Staples from $9.00 to $10.25 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $9.18.

Shares of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) opened at 10.14 on Thursday. The stock’s market cap is $6.62 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $9.54 and its 200 day moving average is $9.27. Staples has a 52-week low of $7.24 and a 52-week high of $10.25.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 13th. Investors of record on Friday, June 23rd were given a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 21st. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.73%. Staples’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -13.30%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Stephens Inc. AR raised 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 during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Staples during the first quarter worth $102,000. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. raised 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 during the period. Concert Wealth Management Inc. raised 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 during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Staples during the second quarter worth $109,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.56% of the company’s stock.

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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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