Staples reports decline in 2014 Fourth Quarter Earnings

The office supply chain store Staples Incorporated has reported decline in 2014 fourth quarter earnings. The eighth straight decline showed that Staples should seal its deal to buy Office Depot Inc., office supply retailing company headquartered in Boca Raton. After the company’s earnings report, shares of Framingham-headquartered company dropped by 2.27% to about $16.1 in afternoon trading on Friday.

According to the company, sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 dropped by about 4% to $5.7 billion compared to fourth quarter earnings of 2013. The company said that poor demand for computers and strong dollar could be blamed for the drop in sales.

On a non-GAAP basis, net earnings for the latest quarter were 31 cents per share, while for the year ago period, net earnings were 33 cents per share. For the latest quarter, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting adjusted earnings of about 30 cents per share and revenue of about $5.76 billion.

The company also reported that sales for the current quarter would be lower than the earnings it reported for the same period last year.

As per reports of Reuters, the decline in the fourth quarter has highlighted the company’s need to seal its $3.6 billion deal to purchase Office Depot. The deal was announced in February. Analysts at TheStreet Ratings have rated the company, which has over 2,000 stores worldwide in 26 countries, as a ‘Buy’ rating and gave score of ‘B’.

About the company, TheStreet Ratings team said, “We rate STAPLES INC (SPLS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover”.

The team further said that Staples has multiple areas that show the company’s strength. The strengths in such areas outweigh the fact that the company reported low profit margins, the team added.