Staples Swings To Fourth-quarter Loss On Impairment Charges

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Staples Inc. swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, as the bottom line was hit by impairment charges for the company's overseas businesses. The office-supply retailer on Friday reported a loss of $260 million, or 41 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, down from a profit of $212 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted profit was 31 cents a share, down from the 33 cents recorded last year. Staples said its earnings were hit by a $410 million pretax impairment charge of goodwill in its Australian, Chinese and South American businesses, as well as $74 million in pretax restructuring charges. Sales fell 4% to $5.66 billion, from $5.87 billion in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 30 cents a share on revenue of $5.76 billion.

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