A $34 million drop in quarterly expenses helped Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) swing to a fourth-quarter profit despite flat sales that just matched expectations.
The nation’s second-largest office-supply chain said it earned $12 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $109 million, or 39 cents.
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Excluding one-time items, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company earned 3 cents, ahead of the breakeven forecasted by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.
In a statement, Office Depot CEO Neil Austrian said the results were “encouraging despite a slow economic recovery in the U.S. and increasing business pressures across Europe,” as restructuring actions in both North America and abroad started gaining traction.
However, revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $3 billion, flat from the year-earlier period and matching the Street’s view. Retail sales in North America were flat at $1.2 billion, with comparable-store sales, or those open longer than a year, falling 5% on decreased promotional spending.
Strong tablet sales could not offset a worse-than-expected decline in computer sales, though services such as copy and print remained strong, and sales fell in its North American business solutions division and international business.