Staples (SPLS) is expected to report Q2 earnings before the market open on Wednesday, August 17 with a conference call scheduled for 8:00 am ET.
Analysts are looking for EPS of 20c on revenue of $5.65B. The consensus range is 18c-21c for EPS, and $5.57B-$5.74B for revenue, according to First Call. At Oppenheimer's Consumer Conference in June, Staples reaffirmed its Q2 EPS forecast for 18c-20c, with sales growth flat to slightly positive vs. 2010. The company also reaffirmed FY11 adjusted EPS $1.35-$1.45 vs. consensus $1.37 on revenue up in the low single digits vs. 2010 and consensus $25.07B. Other goals include annual free cash flow over $1B. At the conference, Staples said near-term headwinds include inflation in raw materials, labor and fuel, slow recovery of white collar employment and investments in key growth initiatives, while tailwinds include share repurchase program and Corporate Express synergies.
Jefferies recently downgraded Staples and other names in the Retailing/Hardlines group to Hold from Buy citing the weakening of macro metrics, namely industrial production, wage growth, and consumer and business confidence.