NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- StageStores (SSI) - Get Stage Stores, Inc. Report  announced a decline in a key sales metric during the holiday season.

The Houston-based company, which operates departments stores such as Peebles, reported on Monday that holiday comparable sales fell by 2.5% during the ten-week period ending on January 9, 2016. 

Still, Stage Stores' holiday results were in-line with the company's expectations, Stage Stores said in a statement on Monday.

The company's stores have been affected by the oil and gas industry, a weak peso and one of the warmest holiday seasons on record, Stage Stores CEO Michael Glazer said in a statement.

"We responded to soft traffic and a highly competitive environment with increased promotions and markdowns," Glazer said. "As we move into 2016, we remain focused on controlling costs and inventory levels, while we continue to execute on the strategic initiatives that we believe will position us for sustainable long-term growth."

TheStreet Recommends

Stage Stores stock is up by 0.12% to $8.19 in early-morning trading on Monday.

Separately, recently, 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 articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate STAGE STORES INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. 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 reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.08 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • SSI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for STAGE STORES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.48%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -2.89% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$43.94 million or 1820.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SSI