Golf Clap for Staples

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Staples (NAS: SPLS) reported earnings yesterday. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Jan. 28 (Q4), Staples met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly, and GAAP earnings per share expanded.

Gross margins were steady, operating margins increased, and net margins improved.

Revenue details
Staples reported revenue of $6.46 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected sales of $6.45 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 0.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $6.42 billion.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.41. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.41 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.41 for Q4 were 5.1% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.39 per share.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 26.8%, about the same as the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 7.3%, 50 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 4.4%, 10 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $6.20 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.30.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $25.48 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.51.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 901 members rating the stock outperform and 80 members rating it underperform. Among 301 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 282 give Staples a green thumbs-up, and 19 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Staples is outperform, with an average price target of $17.69.

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At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Staples. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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