Why Staples (SPLS) Is Plummeting on Thursday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples (SPLS) shares are plummeting during Thursday's session after the office supplies retailer reported lower quarterly earnings and sales and that it will close more than 10% of its total store count over the next two years.

By noon, the stock had plunged 14.3% to $11.49.

In the three months to January, the company posted per-share earnings of 33 cents came in below analysts' estimates of 39 cents a share, according to surveys by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue saw a 10.7% year-over-year decrease to $5.87 billion, missing estimates by $93.1 million. Comparable store sales fell 7% over the quarter.

The Framingham, Mass.-based business guides for first-quarter earnings between 17 cents and 22 cents a share. Analysts had hoped for 27 cents a share.

The company also said it will close 225 stores, or 10.5% of its total, by the end of 2015.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates STAPLES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STAPLES INC (SPLS) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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