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

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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 0.8%. By the end of trading, Staples fell $0.19 (-1.1%) to $17.00 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,214,434 shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,813,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $16.96-$17.19 after having opened the day at $17.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.19. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Sport Chalet ( SPCHA), down 4.8%, CSS Industries ( CSS), down 3.5%, Dover Saddlery ( DOVR), down 3.1% and Birks & Mayors ( BMJ), down 2.2%.

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 $11.3 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 49.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), up 23.2%, Charles & Colvard ( CTHR), up 14.9%, China Auto Logistics ( CALI), up 5.8% and Zagg ( ZAGG), up 4.0% , were all gainers within the specialty retail industry with Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS) 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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