NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples (SPLS) stock is advancing by 1.61% to $11.07 in mid-afternoon trading on Tuesday, as the company could be nearing a victory in its case against the FTC, which would bring it one step closer to acquiring rival office supply chain Office Depot (ODP), sources told the New York Post. 

The judge overseeing the lawsuit will consider a motion from Staples to dismiss the case following the conclusion of the FTC's arguments this week. 

Such a move typically indicates that the judge doesn't think that the prosecutor has successfully made its case, the Post adds. 

"The judge is either playing games" in the way he is taking the FTC to task, the source told the Post, "or the FTC is really in big trouble."

The FTC is hoping to block the companies' proposed merger, alleging that the combination will harm competition and increase prices for corporate customers.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.

Staples' strengths such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SPLS

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author. 

Image placeholder title