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Staples Q3 revenue falls short


Staples Inc. on Thursday reported earnings for its third quarter in line with its expectations but revenue fell short of forecasts as same-store sales fell.

Earnings came in at $179 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with $198 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings came in at 34 cents a share.

Total company sales fell 4% to $5.4 billion in the quarter ended Oct. 29, missing estimates.

Same-store sales were down 4% in the period, more than the 3.2% decline analysts expected.

Total comparable sales, which combines same-store sales and sales growth, and excludes currency impact, were down 3%. This decline was driven by weakness in ink and toner, business machines, technology accessories and mobility.

Staples has been working to restructure its business ever since it abandoned its proposed purchase of rival Office Depot in the face of roadblocks put up by the FTC.

“During the third quarter we pivoted from planning to execution of the Staples 20/20 strategic plan while delivering results that were right in-line with our expectations,” said Shira Goodman, CEO, Staples. “Staples 20/20 is a transformational change of our strategy, our mindset, and our operating model to reshape our company for sustainable long-term growth.”

Staples closed 16 additional stores in North America stores during the third quarter, bringing its total store closures to 35 so far this year. The retailer has said it intends to close at least 50 stores in North America by year-end. The company also announced a deal to sell its U.K. business to Hilco Capital.

"We are driving extreme focus by allocating more resources to the businesses where we have our strongest competitive advantages and de-emphasizing our under-performing businesses," Goodman said on the chain’s quarterly earnings conference call.

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