Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), the big box office supply retailer, reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results before markets opened Friday morning. Both the revenue and the earnings per share missed expectations.
For the quarterly results, both the revenue and the earnings per share missed estimates. Staples reported a total net revenue at $5.27 billion, down by 6.9% compared with $5.66 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The quarterly earnings also decreased to $0.26 per share compared with $0.31 in the same period of last year. The results missed Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.28 and $5.41 billion in revenue. Results for the full year were consistent with quarterly results, both declined from year 2014 and failed to get analysts` expectations.
Staples has struggled with years of declining in sales due to the cheaper online prices for office basics. The company planned to solve the difficulties by a $6.3 billion combination with Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP) in last year, which aimed to save operating costs from stores, distribution centers and executive offices. However, the The Federal Trade Commission blocked this merger in December, saying it may result in higher prices and fewer options for big companies` bulk purchase. Ron Sargent, Staples`s Chief Executive, said that the company still hopes to overcome the government`s blocking even as the company is planning specific changes to improve its stand-alone performance. Yet the sales in first quarter of 2016 still expected to decrease.
So far in 2016, shares of Staples have performed basically in line with the broad markets, with the stock up about 2% year to date. Yet the price fell 1.3% in today`s trading and down 40% over the past 52 weeks.