Glance: Staples 3rd-quarter earnings

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2009 1:07 PM

Staples Inc., the nation's largest office supplies retailer, reported Tuesday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 72 percent to $269.4 million, or 37 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 31, or 39 cents per share excluding one-time costs. It also reported an uptick in North American retail sales, sending shares up.

Here's a look at Staples' third quarter.

SALES: Overall sales slipped 6 percent to $6.52 billion from $6.95 billion but beat the $6.45 billion Wall Street expected.

SAME-STORE SALES: Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator known as same-store sales, were flat compared with the third quarter of 2008.

WHAT'S SELLING: Computer ink and toner sold well, but sales of durable goods such as business machines and furniture remained weak, the company said. The better-than-expected launch of Windows 7 in the last 10 days of the quarter boosted results.

OUTLOOK: Staples, based in Framingham, Mass., anticipates an adjusted fourth-quarter profit of 36 cents to 38 cents per share. Analysts forecast 37 cents per share. The company expects quarterly sales to rise between 1 percent and 3 percent.

SHARE REACTION: Shares rose $1.43, or 6.1 percent, to $25.75 during midday trading, a 52-week high.