Staples, Inc. Stock Bounces Back After Yesterday's Dip

What happened

Shares of Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) rose as much as 7% during the trading day today before dropping back to hover around a rise of 4%. This erased the losses the company and its stock faced Thursday, after its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings were released amid headlines that the office-supply company is dying at the hands of (NASDAQ: AMZN).

So what

Staples reported that sales dropped 3% year over year for the fourth quarter, a product of same-store sales being down 1% and some stores closing throughout the year. The company reported a loss of $615 million, or $0.94 per share, compared with positive earnings of $86 million in Q4 2015.

Image source: Staples, Inc.

The stock's dip yesterday made sense, as those numbers were pretty discouraging. Still, after the initial shock, it seems that the market today is giving the company its former valuation back, as the results were still relatively in line with what most analysts were expecting. Additionally, the company is still maintaining its $0.12 dividend, for a yield of about 5.4%, which may be encouraging for those helping to lift the stock today.

Now what

Staples stock is now essentially flat for the week thanks to today's slight rebound, but it's still been cut nearly in half over the last two years; it does seem to be struggling to maintain its market value and relevancy in a climate where standard office supplies are so easily and cheaply purchased on Amazon.

Staples management believes the company can compete on pricing and availability, and differentiate on customer service and expertise. On the earnings conference call, when an analyst asked about Amazon winning a major supply contract from Staples, CEO Shira Goodman responded by saying:

Staples plans to close another 70 stores in 2017, and continue restructuring its business, so we'll wait to see if the company really can begin winning back customers with the competitive strengths Goodman talked about.

In the meantime, the company continues to face a reality of widening losses and expected lower cash flow in 2017 versus 2016, which could threaten its very high dividend. If that gets cut, it would likely decimate the stock price further as income investors flee.

10 stocks we like better than StaplesWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Staples wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of February 6, 2017

Seth McNew has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.