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Staples Inc. (SPLS): Today's Featured Specialty Retail Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Staples ( SPLS) pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Specialty Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Staples fell $0.16 (-1.1%) to $14.57 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,810,051 shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,330,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.54-$14.79 after having opened the day at $14.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.74. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 6.4%, Odyssey Marine Exploration ( OMEX), down 4.6%, Brown Shoe Company ( BWS), down 4.2% and CSS Industries ( CSS), down 3.9%.

Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. It operates in three segments: North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial, and International Operations. Staples has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 27.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Staples a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Hastings Entertainment ( HAST), up 11.0%, Sport Chalet ( SPCHB), up 8.6%, Murphy USA ( MUSA), up 3.4% and TravelCenters of America ( TA), up 2.9%.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the specialty retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the specialty retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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