Shares of Staples Inc. fell 1.8% in premarket trade on Thursday after the office supply retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings that were below Wall Street expectations. Staples reported a net loss of $952 million for the quarter, or 94 cents per share, after reporting net income of $86 million, or 20 cents per share during the same period a year ago. Adjusted per-share earnings came in at 25 cents, just below FactSet's consensus for 26 cents. Sales during the fourth quarter hit $4.6 billion, compared with last year's $4.7 billion, while analysts tracked by FactSet had forecast $5.0 billion in sales. Staples sees first-quarter earnings per share landing in the range of 15 cents to 18 cents. Analysts on FactSet are looking for earnings to come in at 17 cents per share for the first quarter. Shares of Staples have declined 6.6% during the trailing 12-month period, underperforming the S&P 500 index , which is up 18.8% in the same period.
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