Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS): Q1 Earnings Preview 2011

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings before the opening bell on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of 32 cents per share on revenue of $6.19 billion. In the year ago quarter, the company reported earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $6.06 billion.

Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. The Company, along with its subsidiaries, offers a range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture and business services.

In the preceding fourth-quarter, the Framingham, Massachusetts based company's net income was $274.74 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to $233.91 million, or 32 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents per share in the latest quarter. Revenue was almost flat at $6.42 billion compared to $6.41 billion in the previous year. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $6.48 billion.

For the first quarter, Staples expects earnings in the range of $0.30 per share to $0.32 per share. The company projects quarterly sales to increase in the low single-digits from last year. 

For the full year 2011, the company expects earnings of between $1.50 and $1.60 per share, including items, and sales are expected to increase in the low to mid single-digits. For the full year 2010, the company's earnings were $1.21 per share and adjusted earnings were $1.27 per share on sales of $24.5 billion.

Office-supply retailers, which saw corporate clients and other shoppers turn frugal in the recession, are finally seeing customers return as the economy improves. Being a leading retailer of office products and services, Staples is better positioned than its competitors to benefit from the economic recovery, and is poised to sustain its growth momentum based on margin expansion, effective merchandising and growth prospects across its retail and delivery divisions.  To increase its margin, Staples has increased the mix of private label offerings (i.e., Staples brand products) and emphasized the purchase of products directly from manufacturers instead of distributors.

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