Almost every industry sector is coming under pressure from economic uncertainty. For investors, that means there are questions about which way large-cap stocks like DS Smith (LON:SMDS) will move over the near term.
DS Smith is one of just 200 shares on the London Stock Exchange that have market valuations in excess of £1.0 billion. Its current market cap stands at £4,104m.
Large-cap shares like this are important because they are held in the investment funds and pension portfolios of millions of savers. So amid the chaos of Covid-19, how has the stock fared?
Over the past 12 months, the DS Smith share price has seen an absolute move of -29.0%. On a relative basis - which take into account the movement of the wider market - the shares have moved by -30.4% over the past year and by -21.4% over the past six months.
But what now?
Do analysts rate it as a buy, sell or hold?
Regardless of recent performance, the main question for investors is what the future holds. In uncertain economic conditions, it's often difficult to get an accurate view. The good news is that analysts generally understand the market's biggest businesses better than most, so they are well-placed to make predictions. That shows up in their Buy, Hold and Sell recommendations.
Among the analysts covering DS Smith, there are currently:
4 Buy recommendations
4 Hold recommendations
0 Sell recommendations
With this kind of information, it's possible to start forming a view about the outlook for any share. A combination of recent price performance and analyst recommendations gives you a flavour of whether the market is expecting a bright future - or whether there are causes for concern.
What does this mean for potential investors?
DS Smith is one of the most closely watched shares in the market. But while price trends and broker recommendations can give you an idea about the sentiment around a stock, they can't tell you everything.
To get a better understanding of the overall investment case, it's worth doing some investigation yourself. Indeed, we've identified some areas of concern with DS Smith that you can find out about here.