Staples, Inc. (NYSE:SPLS) has long been my choice for office supply needs. It is a household name thanks in part to its “that was easy” slogan campaign. The company offers a range of office supplies, business technology products and services, facility and breakroom supplies, computers and mobility products, and office furniture under the Staples, Quill, and other proprietary brands. It also provides copy and print services to retail and delivery customers, as well as technology services through its EasyTech business. The company sells and delivers office products and services directly to businesses and consumers through its Staples.com and Quill.com websites, as well as through retail stores, contract sales force, and direct mail catalog business. What many may not know is that this stock is been relatively quiet for years after taking some punishment from competitors like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Still, it boasts a nearly 4 percent dividend yield and brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Staples operates office products superstores in three segments: North American Stores & Online, North American Commercial, and International Operations. During the first-quarter, it operated approximately 2,200 stores worldwide. The company also operated 116 distribution and fulfillment centers in 30 states in the United States; 7 provinces in Canada; and in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, China, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia. It is a major business but the stock receives very little coverage. It has caught my eye today as the stock is down over 12 percent as I write after reporting mediocre earnings for the first-quarter. The purpose of this article is to discuss the earnings and outlook for Staples and whether the stock is a buy at current levels.