Assessing Market Sentiment Towards International Paper (IP) Stocks

With a sudden -3.6% drop to $38.4, International Paper has Wall Street wondering if its shares will keep moving past its target price of $39.8. With an average rating of hold, and analysts assigning target prices from 37.0 to 43.0 dollars per share, investors will be betting heavily on the Paper & Paper Products stock's next move.

It seems the market sentiment regarding International Paper is mostly optimistic, since it has a short interest of only 4.0%. This is the percentage of the share float that is being shorted by investors who are hoping the stock's price will decrease in the future.

When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.

One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of International Paper, institutional investors own 83.0% of the shares, which indicates they have a very high stake in the company. What does this really tell us?

Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in IP, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice.

But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or to get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.

Overall, there is mixed market sentiment towards International Paper because of an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a hold rating, an average amount of shares sold short, and a significant number of institutional investors. Investors should not base their decisions on market sentiment only, they should also be aware of a stock's fundamentals before committing.

At a glance, here are some essential statistics you may want to know about IP:

  • It has trailing 12 month earnings per share (EPS) of $0.53 per share

  • International Paper has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 72.5 while the S&P 500 average is 15.97

  • The company has a Price to Book (P/B) ratio of 1.62 in contrast to the S&P 500's average ratio of 2.95

  • International Paper is a Basic Materials company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 16.53 and 2.07 respectively

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.