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 was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Staples rose 10 cents (0.8%) to $12.63 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5.4 million shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.41-$12.68 after having opened the day at $12.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.52. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that increased today were: 1-800 Flowers.com Inc. Class A ( FLWS), up 3.7%, AutoNation ( AN), up 3%, Signet Jewelers ( SIG), up 2.6%, and West Marine ( WMAR), up 2.6%.

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 $8.55 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, equal to the average specialty retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Staples a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive 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.

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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