Which of These Top 3 Office Supply Stocks are Winning the Earnings Game?

Earnings trends are extremely important while evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then, we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 3 office supply stocks rank via earnings trends:

Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP): Current Price $4.13

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 14,500 12,140 11,630 11,490 10,700
Diluted EPS ($) -5.42 -2.003 -0.30 0.22 -0.39

Office Depot has turned in a loss per share every year except in 2011. Unfortunately, 2012 saw a sharp drop in EPS as well as turnover.

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Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 2,970 2,873 2,507 2,693 2,623
Diluted EPS ($) 0.0751 0.14 -0.1779 -0.1916 -0.1605

There is no let-up in the losses in the quarterly reports either, and we drop Office Depot from consideration in this analysis…