Staples First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Staples operates a chain of retail stores selling office products.

Staples, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 30 cents per share, a rise of 7.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 31 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 30 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 9.5% compared to last year’s $1.50.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of 41 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 41 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by 0 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $6.19 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 0.3% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $25.43 billion for the year, a rise of 1.6% from last year’s revenue of $25.02 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are optimistic about this stock, with 10 analysts rating it as a buy, one rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 3.2% to $283.6 million (41 cents a share) from $274.7 million (38 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.7% to $6.46 billion from $6.42 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on three-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue increased 5.2% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 0.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before climbing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between March 14, 2012 and May 10, 2012, the stock price had fallen 89 cents (-5.6%), from $15.85 to $14.96. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between February 9, 2012 and February 23, 2012, when shares rose for 10 straight days, increasing 4.4% (+65 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 8, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 11% (-$1.80) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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