• Two Hardliners to Buy, One to Hold

    By Zain Abbas - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: BBY, DKS, SPLS

     A bunch of hardliners are announcing their quarterly results next week. In an earlier post, I mentioned how companies exposed to housing and the auto industry are destined to benefit from the upbeat performance of these respective industries. However, there are many other industries (and interesting investing themes) that are covered by hardliners, and hence it would not be fair if we restrict our analysis to the auto and housing more »

  • Will a Poor Back-to-School Shopping Season Spell Trouble For These Stocks?

    By Bob Ciura - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS, TJX

    It’s no secret that the U.S. economy has been slow to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. The ongoing sequester, payroll tax hike, and the frustratingly slow-to-improve labor market should have been enough evidence to convince investors that the American consumer is in a tough spot.

    Investors have gleefully bought stocks, including those tied to the health of the consumer, over the past several weeks more »

  • 3 Retail Stocks You Should Own Now

    By Chris Johnson - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: AEO, SPLS, FINL

    Students might dread the start of a new school year, but many retailers couldn’t be more excited. Everyone knows that kids can’t make their classroom debuts without first being decked out with a backpack, school supplies and, of course, new outfits. 

    For Investors, the summer heat may have you focused on vacations, but your attention will soon shift to back-to-school and potential retail winners and losers. Since more »

  • Which Companies Make the Grade With Back-to-School Shoppers?

    By Kelli Bhattacharjee - July 29, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, ODP, OMX, SPLS

    Despite school not starting for two months, we are already being inundated with back-to-school deals. Expectations for this year’s back to school shopping season are high, with retail sales numbers for June coming in strong for several companies. 

    For back-to-school shopping, money savvy parents armed with their back-to-school checklists head to office supply stores since these retailers historically offer some of the lowest prices, but which retailers are positioned more »

  • Invest in the Bare Necessities

    By Wes Patoka - July 25, 2013 | Tickers: SPLS, CLX, WMT

    Companies that supply us with goods that we need operate in a very stable part of the economy. They are rarely in the news because there is typically no news to share. Unless there is a mass “staining” across the country, Clorox (NYSE: CLX) will continue to sell about the same amount of bleach.

    That was easy

    Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) has strong business-to-business relationships and the third-strongest retail brand name more »

  • This Company Is Building Monopoly Power

    By Jordan Wathen - July 11, 2013 | Tickers: SPLS, VPRT, WMT | Editor's Choice

    The best businesses are those that have implicit monopoly power. They can earn high returns on capital without sacrificing quality to beat their customers on price. Implicit monopolies aren't constrained like explicit monopolies, either.

    This rapidly-growing dot com is slowly building an impenetrable monopoly.

    Bank on printing

    Vistaprint (NASDAQ: VPRT) is a leader in the online printing space. The company offers inexpensive products meant for business customers. From promotional more »

  • Are Big Box Stores In Panic Mode Yet?

    By Phillip Woolgar - June 24, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, BBY, SPLS

    Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is attempting to reshape itself as a new company, but the firm has challenging work ahead in an increasingly Web-focused consumer goods market.

    Along with the transition under its new CEO will come some difficult times for the company, and it could be a while, if ever, before profits really surge. Part of the growing pains came last year when the company lost $417 million. A more »

  • Will Amazon Destroy Brick and Mortar Profits?

    By Phillip Woolgar - June 22, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, SPLS, WMT

    As more people than ever turn their computers on for their shopping needs, a shark named (NASDAQ: AMZN) has entered the swimming waters that were once dominated by brick and mortar stores. However, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) are fighting back.

    Attraction to online purchasing

    Amazon offers buyers with the opportunity to shop from the comfort of home, rather than getting stuck in traffic jams, having more »

  • Buy These Names Before They Increase Their Dividends

    By Zain Abbas - June 20, 2013 | Tickers: AAP, PETM, SPLS

    Recently, some hard-line retailers have been raising their dividends, which has led to exceptional share price increases. Two of the most important examples are increases in dividends announced by Nike and Williams-Sonoma in March. Since then both stocks have been up by 12% and 24%, respectively. However, an interesting note for investors is that some retailers are just around the corner from announcing dividend hikes, which has obviously not been more »

  • A Look at Office Supply Retailers

    By Damon Churchwell - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    I first blogged about the office supply retail store operators in December of last year (see my December blog.) Since then, the largest component of that industry, Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), has seen a substantial boost to its share price.

    May-quarter earnings appear to have incited investors to further bid up the shares, as profitability is improving and full-year revenues are on track to climb. In all, management seems to be more »

  • Are There Other Ways to Take Advantage of the 3D Printing Market?

    By John Casteele - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: ADSK, GE, RSH, SPLS

    I recently wrote about companies that could be of interest to investors looking to cash in on a potential 3D printing boom. Some might think it's too risky to invest in the companies directly; if the boom fizzles, then the companies might not take off like anticipated. If you look around, there are other options that might seem like good ways to indirectly invest in the future of 3D more »

  • Don't Ignore the Boring Stocks

    By Timothy Green - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: CSCO, SPLS, WU | Editor's Choice

    It's easy to get a little too excited about the next big thing. Investors throw their money into stocks like Tesla, 3D printing companies, or new cloud-based tech IPOs, expecting far more than these companies can realistically deliver. At the same time these investors ignore the stocks of mature companies operating in boring industries, often missing fantastic opportunities in the process. Three stocks that fall into this category, all more »

  • Pzena Still Believes in Turnarounds

    By Marshall Hargrave - May 31, 2013 | Tickers: BP, HPQ, OMC, SPLS, TEL

    Richard Pzena founded Pzena Investment Management in 1995 and now has more than $24 billion in assets under management. The firm's strategy is to rank companies from the cheapest to the most expensive based on current earnings to normal long-term earnings power. Basically, Pzena likes to buy companies that are good businesses selling at low prices. Outlined below are Pzena's top five stock holdings at the end of more »
  • Can These Stocks Continue Their Run?

    By Anthony Parsons - May 29, 2013 | Tickers: BBY, HPQ, SPLS

    So far in 2013, the three stocks highlighted in this article have had dramatic increases in share prices. This article will take a look at whether this can continue. Furthermore, it will look at bright spots within the companies to see where they are doing well and also to find areas that could bring strong growth. I believe these are solid companies and I will tell you why.

    The three more »

  • Mixed Earnings And A Higher Stock Price

    By Timothy Green - May 24, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS | Editor's Choice

    Of the three big office supply chains, soon to be two with the merger of Office Max (NYSE: OMX) and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) looming, the clear leader is Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS). Staples has struggled to grow sales as of late, with 2012 seeing a slight decline, but this is at least partially due to weakness in Europe. Staples reported its Q1 earnings a few days ago, and while the more »

  • A Specialty Retailer the Internet Cannot Kill

    By Jordan Wathen - May 24, 2013 | Tickers: AZO, ODP, OMX, SPLS

    Specialized retailers and category killers make for excellent businesses, but there's a very big difference between good and bad.

    Some are runaway successes; others are businesses in perpetual decline. Whether or not a business will fail or succeed comes down to one variable: the effect of tech.

    Retail vs. the internet.

    Built on the idea that they could deliver office supplies to corporate customers, and offer a range of more »

  • Can Online Sales Tax Win the Battle for This Retailer?

    By Stephanie Faris - May 14, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, SPLS, WMT

    As legislators continue to vote on a bill that will levy a sales tax on all Internet purchases, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) recently reclaimed its top spot on the Fortune 500. But, Wal-Mart's celebration is bad news for online giant (NASDAQ: AMZN) after a  long period of competition that culminated in Wal-Mart removing Amazon's Kindle from its shelves.

    Billions in sales

    Granted, Wal-Mart has always been the more »

  • Can the Office Retailers Survive?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - May 5, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    In a few months there will be two office “superstores” left, once Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) finishes its purchase of OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) and begins its direct competition with Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS).

    The question for investors isn't which company will survive, but will any of them? Over the last year, five years, or 10 years, all three of these companies have been losing value and losing money.

    How can more »

  • The Big Office Supply Merger Creates An Interesting Opportunity

    By Matthew Frankel - April 19, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    After announcing their intention to merge with OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX), Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) initially spiked to around $6 per share, and wound up settling at around $5 for a little while.  Since then, however, shares have shed over 25% of their value, and are currently in the mid-$3 range.  With the cost savings expected from the merger, is this a chance to get in at a discount more »

  • The Big Office Supply Merger Creates An Interesting Opportunity

    By Matthew Frankel - April 17, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    After announcing their intention to merge with OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX), Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) initially spiked to around $6 per share, and wound up settling at around $5 for a little while.  Since then, however, shares have shed over 25% of their value, currently in the mid-$3 range.  With the cost savings expected from the merger, is this a chance to get in at a discount?  When looking more »

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