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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples (SPLS) shares are are up 0.57% to $17.65 in early market trading on Monday after the office supplies retailer reported a data breach by hackers that ran from July into September and compromised the credit cards of 1.16 million customers.

The company acknowledged back in October that it was investigating a possible data breach at its stores in Pennsylvania, New York City and New Jersey.

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"For 113 of the 115 affected stores, transaction data may have been accessed for payment cards used from August 10 through September 16, 2014. For the remaining two stores, transactions from July 20 through September 16, 2014 may have been accessed.

"Additionally, during our investigation we received reports of fraudulent payment card use related to four stores in Manhattan, New York at various times from April through September 2014," said the company in a statement.

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TheStreet Recommends

TheStreet has further coverage of the data breach here

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

"We rate STAPLES INC (SPLS) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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 60.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $135.23 million to $216.79 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $604.60 million or 14.60% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -21.98%.
  • SPLS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.76 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SPLS Ratings Report

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