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

Staples ( SPLS) pushed the Specialty Retail industry higher today making it today's featured specialty retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Staples rose 16 cents (1%) to $15.55 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.8 million shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $15.29-$15.64 after having opened the day at $15.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.39. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that increased today were: MarineMax ( HZO), up 24.3%, Birks & Mayors ( BMJ), up 8.6%, Golfsmith International Holdings ( GOLF), up 6.7%, and Charles & Colvard ( CTHR), up 6.2%.

Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. The company offers various office supplies and services, office machines and related products, computers and related products, and office furniture under Staples, Quill, and other proprietary brands. Staples has a market cap of $10.61 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, equal to the average specialty retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Staples a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, iParty Corporation ( IPT), down 13%, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 6%, Cabela's ( CAB), down 5.2%, and CSS Industries ( CSS), down 3.2%, were all losers within the specialty retail industry with Group I Automotive ( GPI) being today's specialty retail industry loser.

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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