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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Staples ( SPLS) pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Specialty Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Staples fell $0.24 (-1.6%) to $14.77 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9,487,316 shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9,678,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.65-$15.01 after having opened the day at $15.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.00. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 5.2%, Books-A-Million ( BAMM), down 5.0%, DGSE Companies ( DGSE), down 4.7% and KAR Auction Services ( KAR), down 3.7%.
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Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. It operates in three segments: North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial, and International Operations. Staples has a market cap of $9.9 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 31.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Staples a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Odyssey Marine Exploration ( OMEX), down 8.8%, Zale Corporation ( ZLC), down 6.9%, Lithia Motors ( LAD), down 4.3% and Copart ( CPRT), down 3.9% , were all gainers within the specialty retail industry with Office Depot ( ODP) being today's featured specialty retail industry leader.

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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