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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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 0.5%. By the end of trading, Staples rose $0.16 (1.2%) to $14.04 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,006,741 shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,468,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $13.90-$14.19 after having opened the day at $13.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.88. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that increased today were: Mecox Lane ( MCOX), up 5.5%, Charles & Colvard ( CTHR), up 5.2%, DGSE Companies ( DGSE), up 4.4% and Lentuo International ( LAS), up 4.4%.

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 $9.1 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 21.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Staples a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 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 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 negative front, Sport Chalet ( SPCHA), down 5.6%, Hastings Entertainment ( HAST), down 4.6%, CSS Industries ( CSS), down 3.5% and Zumiez ( ZUMZ), down 3.5% , were all laggards within the specialty retail industry with Outerwall ( OUTR) being today's specialty retail industry laggard.

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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