NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Staples (SPLS) is scheduled to release its 2015 first quarter earnings results before the market open on Wednesday. Analysts are predicting that the school, home and office supplies retailer will post a slight year-over-year decline in earnings and revenue for the most recent quarter.
Staples has been forecast to post earnings of 17 cents per share on revenue of $5.47 billion for the quarter ended April 2015.
Last year, Staples said it earned 18 cents per diluted share on revenue of $5.65 billion for the 2014 first quarter.
Shares of Staples are down by 0.79% to $16.35 in mid-morning trading on Tuesday.
Earlier this year Staples announced that it will acquire rival supply chain Office Depot (ODP) in a $6.3 billion deal.
Separately, 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- SPLS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.21 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 0.78 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- SPLS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
- 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 222.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $212.38 million to -$260.35 million.
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, STAPLES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: SPLS Ratings Report