Staples Inc. on Wednesday reported a drop in first-quarter profit, but adjusted earnings and sales still beat analyst forecasts. Net profit for the period fell to $41 million, or 6 cents a share, down from $59 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The bottom line was hit by a $66 million pre-tax charge primarily related to the proposed takeover of Office Depot Inc. and store closures, as well as $32 million in costs related to the sale of Staples' print solutions business. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share came in at 17 cents, unchanged from the first quarter last year. Revenue slipped 3% to $5.1 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $5.09 billion.
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