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Postal Workers Picket Staples (SPLS) in Protest of In-Store Mail Service

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. postal workers were out in force Thursday, protesting against Staples (SPLS) offering USPS mailing products and services in-store.

The American Postal Workers Union (AWPU), on behalf of USPS workers, organized pickets and rallies outside of 50 Staples stores across 27 states as part of what it calls its National Day of Action to Stop Staples.

The union argues not only that the deal threatens jobs with the risk of privatization of the flagging postal service, but also that the deal does consumers a disservice as lower-paid retail workers will be responsible for mail.

In a statement, APWU president Mark Dimondstein said, "The American people have a right to know that their mail is handled by highly-trained uniformed postal employees who have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail."

Staples has yet to issue a formal response.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates STAPLES INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STAPLES INC (SPLS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income increased by 172.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $78.06 million to $212.38 million.
  • SPLS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that SPLS's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.69, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for STAPLES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.39%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.61% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $233.15 million or 28.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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