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Office Depot widens Q3 loss, but beats Street


Boca Raton, Fla. Office Depot on Thursday said its third-quarter loss widened on restructuring charges and a continued sales slump amid the recession.

But adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations.

“We are pleased with both our operating results and cash flow performance in the third quarter,” said Mike Newman, Office Depot’s CFO. “We exceeded our expectations in the quarter as a result of strong execution across the entire enterprise.”

The company said a pullback in spending by both consumers and small businesses on all items, especially large-ticket ones such as furniture and computers, hurt sales. The company also continued to reduce markdowns on some low-margin categories.

The loss available to common shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 26 totaled $413 million, or $1.51 per share, compared with a loss of $6.7 million, or 2 cents per share in the same period last year.

Revenue fell 17% to $3 billion from $3.66 billion last year.

North American retail division sales fell 18% to $1.3 billion, hurt partly by having 117 fewer stores open than a year ago. Same-store sales fell 14% in the quarter.

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