As we get ready for Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) earnings, we have an opportunity to take a quantitative approach to preparation. The company’s first numbers are slated to hit the wires after market close (confirmed) on May 24, 2017. Hence, it’s a good time to take a thorough look at the company’s historical behavior around earnings, as well as where current expectations stand for performance in the quarter.

Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) Historical Stock Behavior Data for Earnings Reports

According to market and research data, the company’s average earnings surprise was 1.69 percent, when looking at the prior year. Let’s look at how these four reports worked out in detail.

The company put up an EPS number of 0.25 on March 09, 2017. That missed the consensus expectation of $0.26, representing a Positive surprise of 2.11% That report showed a top line number of $4.56B, which compares to a consensus estimate of $5.04B. In reaction, the stock dropped -5.32% on the next day. A week later, the price change was -2.04%.

The company put up an EPS number of $0.34 on November 17, 2016. That compared with a consensus expectation of $0.34, representing a Positive surprise 0.53%. That report also showed a top line number of $5.36B, which compares to a consensus estimate of $5.4B put out by analysts ahead of the report. That spurred a move of 3.95% a day later. Seven days after that, the stock had posted a net move of 10.71%.

If we look back at August 17, 2016, we see a company able to log an EPS print of $0.12. That missed the projected outlook of $0.12, handing the market a Negative surprise of 0.00%. Sales came in at $4.75B, which countered expectations of $4.77B, leading to a net move in shares of -7.04% the following day, and -7.04% seven days out.

Finally, on May 18, 2016, we saw a Positive surprise of 4.10% when the company came to the table with an EPS of $0.17, answering analysts at $0.16 on the bottom line. The top line hit at $5.1B (versus $5.09B).

Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): What’s the Word on the Street? 

This time around, Q1 is expected to offer up an EPS point of $0.17, with a range of $0.16-$0.18. The top line expectation range out from analysts right now is at $4.4B-$4.54B, pushing a mean of $4.47B.

Shares of Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) printed a last close of $9.65, which pushes the total market value of the company to roughly $6.34B. Where is it headed from here? It’s impossible to say, but analysts currently have a consensus 12-month target out right now at $9.80.

Looking at recent action, we’ve seen shares declined -5.95% off trailing year highs, but advance overall 1 a ytd basis. The stock has been bouncing in a recent range defined by the $9.63-$9.81 levels, with transactions averaging about 3,299,147 shares per day. Over about the past week, the stock has moved nearly -2.33% higher, representing a total gain of 36.81% off its 52-week low.

Finally, the summary performance stats on reporting suggest that there is roughly a 73 percent chance that the stock down in reaction to its next quarterly data peek. If we dig a bit deeper, we can see that shares of the stock saw gains about down 22 out of 30 quarters on recent record. As far as the actual results, the company has “beaten the number” at a rate of roughly 16% over its past 12 reports. On the other hand, the company swung and missed 2 times, with 8 instances of inline data. At present, the company’s stock price per share has shifted about 11.2% percent since the last time it turned in a report card, when it was printing orders around $8.84/share.