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Geopolitical and economic turmoil has changed the outlook for companies across all industry sectors. For investors who own shares in them, the question now is whether these stocks are worth holding and where their prices will go from here.
These questions are especially important for the market's top 200 companies - which includes WH Smith (LON:SMWH). These shares all have market-caps in excess of £1.0 billion and they play a vital role in the investment funds and pension portfolios of millions of savers. Indeed, the stock is currently valued at £2,011m.
So, amid the uncertainty, how has the share price responded?
Over the past 12 months, the WH Smith share price has seen an absolute move of -8.54%. On a relative basis - which take into account the movement of the wider market - the shares have moved by -6.35% over the past year and by 14.2% 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 WH Smith, there are currently:
3 Buy recommendations
1 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?
WH 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 WH Smith that you can find out about here.