Staples Quarterly Results Miss Expectations

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Staples Inc. on Friday posted quarterly results that fell short of expectations set by Wall Street analysts. The office supplies retailer in the fourth quarter swung to a profit of $86 million, or 13 cents. A year ago, Staples lost $260 million, or 41 cents a share. Adjusted earnings for the most recent period were 26 cents a share. Sales fell 6.9% to $5.23 billion from $5.66 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 28 cents a share, on sales of $5.4 billion. Staples, which is working on its merger with Office Depot, said quarterly same-store sales fell 2%. Sales at the Staples.com site rose 1%, the company said. "While our Q4 results came in at the lower end of our expectations, we continued to make good progress on many of our key initiatives, and we have a solid plan to get back to earnings growth in 2016," said Staples Chief Executive Ron Sargent in a statement. Shares of Staples were inactive ahead of the opening bell Friday.

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