Why Staples (SPLS) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples (SPLS) was gaining 1.6% to $11.13 Thursday after announcing its new Development Center in Seattle.

The new Development Center will house e-commerce and engineering teams that will help drive the company's initiatives to enhance search, SEO, and personalization. The teams will use big data "to develop a personalized shopping experience" according to executive vice president of global e-commerce Faisal Masud.

"At the Development Center, we're building core components to power innovative e-commerce," Masude said in a press release. "Our marketers and merchants will test and launch rapid innovative online selling models, targeting the right customer with the right products at the right time."

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TheStreet Ratings team rates STAPLES INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STAPLES INC (SPLS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, 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 unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $359.85 million or 3.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -8.53%.
  • SPLS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.74 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 43.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $169.93 million to $96.21 million.
  • The gross profit margin for STAPLES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.94%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.70% trails that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SPLS Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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