Apr 5, 2017

Staples buyout would not be easy

Staples is exploring a sale to private equity, according to the WSJ. This comes after U.S. regulators effectively blocked the office retailer from acquiring rival Office Depot.

Why it's a big deal: For all of its problems, Staples remains a $6 billion company and the go-to physical source for office supplies.

Bull case: Staples stock over the past six months hasn't been this cheap since 1998. Even the takeover report couldn't push it past $10 per share.

Bear case: There are a lot of good reasons why Staples stock hasn't been this cheap since 1998, including online cannibalization (read: Amazon) and declining performance. Plus, private equity isn't exactly known to be clamoring right now for big box retailers. In other words, this reads a bit like Staples (now under a new CEO) seeking a buyer via the press.

Bottom line: "After the [Office Depot] deal collapsed, Staples said it would cut costs and redouble efforts to win more business from midsize companies. But the turnaround strategy, dubbed Staples 20/20, hasn't yielded significant gains yet." ― WSJ

Go deeper

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.