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 user 2010-10-27 at 7:23:24 am Views: 37
  • #24030
    Depot Inc. said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Odland has
    resigned, after disclosing last week a settlement of U.S. claims that it
    signaled to some analysts that earnings may miss estimates.The
    resignation, “by mutual agreement” with the board, is effective Nov. 1,
    the retailer said today in a statement, without providing further
    details on the reasons for his departure. The shares jumped the most in
    13 months after Office Depot also said it probably had a profit last

    Office Depot, the second-largest U.S. office-supply
    retailer after Staples Inc., said Oct. 21 that it agreed to pay $1
    million to settle the claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
    Commission. Odland, 52, agreed to pay $50,000 as part of the settlement,
    according to the SEC.“Odland’s tenure at the company started on a
    promising note, but ended frustratingly for investors,” said Colin
    McGranahan, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in New York who rates the
    stock “outperform.” “There was little love lost between Odland and
    investors, hence the positive reaction.”The Boca Raton, Florida-based
    company released preliminary third-quarter earnings results today,
    saying that sales probably fell 4 percent from a year earlier. Earnings
    were about 18 cents a share in the three months ended Sept. 25, compared
    with a $1.51 loss a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg
    predicted a loss of 1 cent on average.Office Depot jumped 50 cents, or
    11 percent, to $5.13 at 9:50 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite
    trading, after touching $5.24 for the biggest intraday jump since
    September 2009. The stock, down 28 percent this year before today, was
    the biggest gainer on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

    Second Quarter 2010
    Depot’s sales have slumped to $12.1 billion in 2009 from $15.5 billion
    in 2007, as businesses cut back on office supplies during the
    recession.Odland and then-Chief Financial Officer Patricia McKay
    directed employees to call analysts late in the second quarter of 2007
    to signal that the slowing economy would hurt earnings, the SEC said in a
    statement on Oct. 21.

    Messages left at Office Depot’s press office weren’t immediately returned.
    will be replaced on an interim basis by Neil Austrian, who has been on
    the board since 1998, until a permanent replacement is found.The former
    CEO joined the company as chairman and chief executive officer from
    AutoZone Inc. in 2005. He will remain as a consultant through Dec. 31.