Staples Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. 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 profit of 47 cents per share, a rise of 14.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 11% versus last year to $1.41.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the second quarter, the company reported net income of 22 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 20 cents per share. In the first quarter, the company missed estimates by 4 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 2.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $6.72 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with eight analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 36% to $176.4 million (25 cents a share) from $129.8 million (18 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 5.2% to $5.82 billion from $5.53 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 5% in the first quarter and 17.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 1.9% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 0.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 0.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX), Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP), Walgreen (NYSE:WAG), CVS (NYSE:CVS), Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), Bed, Bath & Beyone (NASDAQ:BBBY), Stamps.com Inc. (NASDAQ:STMP) and United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ:USTR).

Stock Price Performance: During August 16, 2011 to November 9, 2011, the stock price had risen 55 cents (3.9%) from $14.12 to $14.67. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 23, 2011 and July 1, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 4.2% (+64 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, falling 11% (-$1.82) over that span. Shares are down $7.68 (-34.4%) year to date.

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

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