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Staples Q4 profit drops

STAPLES says its fiscal fourth-quarter profit dropped 14 percent amid a number of charges related to its acquisition of Netherlands-based Corporate Express.

Net income at the world's largest office products retailer fell to US$286 million, or 40 cents a share, from US$333.2 million, or 47 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Besides the charges linked to the buyout of Corporate Express, Staples reversed a US$57-million non-cash charge recorded in the third quarter. Excluding these items, adjusted earnings were US$256 million, or 36 cents a share.

Staples says sales grew 16 percent to US$6.17 billion from US$5.32 billion, helped by the addition of Corporate Express.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted earnings of 42 cents a share on sales of US$6.82 billion.

Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples Inc said it would not provide earnings or sales outlooks due to difficulties in predicting near-term economic activity.


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