Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded shares of Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) to Outperform on Tuesday.
Gary Balter believes "that a merger of the remaining office supply superstore chains, Staples and Office Depot, makes significant financial and operational sense."
Balter highlighted four main reasons why the two firms should combine now:
- Merger would create years of earnings growth from synergies
- Strong stock upside for both companies
- Both companies are closing stores to compete with the other
- Can focus on selling to multi-national corporations without worries of retail segment
Balter said, "apply SPLS's current valuation multiples to the combined entity, we believe the stock price of SPLS would be closer to $30 by 2017 from its current price of under $12."
Analysts feel both Staples and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) are in serious trouble based on current valuation multiples, including free cash flow yields. However, a merger of the two companies will provide a roadmap for long-term success with the majority of profits coming from a very stable well-positioned contract business.
Shares of Staples traded recently at $12.51, up 7.06 percent. Shares of Office Depot was at $5.48, up 7.03 percent.
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