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 user 2010-05-03 at 11:29:52 am Views: 61
  • #23621
    NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Stronger sales reflecting the stabilizing
    economy helped lift OfficeMax Inc.’s first-quarter profit 88 percent,
    the company said Thursday.After paying preferred dividends, OfficeMax
    said profit available to common shareholders rose to $24.8 million, or
    29 cents per share, from $13.1 million, or 17 cents per share, in the
    year-ago quarter.Adjusted profit, which removes charges for severance
    and store closures in the U.S. and Mexico and a benefit related to tax
    distributions, came to 39 cents per share.There were 11 percent more
    shares outstanding in the recent quarter, which has the effect of
    reducing earnings per share.

    Revenue edged up to $1.92 billion
    from $1.91 billion a year ago.
    Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters,
    on average, expected profit of 21 cents per share, on revenue of $1.9
    billion. Analysts typically exclude one-time charges and gains from
    their estimates.Sales in its contract segment rose 3.8 percent to $963
    million, as international gains offset a decline in the U.S.

    sales declined 3 percent to $954.3 million. Sales at stores open at
    least a year fell 2.5 percent. The decrease was smaller than the 6.7
    percent decrease reported in the December quarter. The company said the
    improvement reflected favorable sales trends in the U.S. and Mexico.”We
    believe our results reflect some of the stabilization we are seeing in
    economic trends, but primarily are indicative of the traction we are
    gaining in our growth and profitability initiatives.” said Chairman and
    CEO Sam Duncan in a statement.OfficeMax did not offer specific guidance,
    but said it expects sales will be higher in the second quarter than
    last year, when it posted $1.66 billion in sales. Adjusted operating
    income will gain, but not as much as it did in the first quarter, the
    company said.

    Analysts expect second-quarter sales, on average,
    of $1.68 billion, with estimates ranging from $1.65 billion to $1.72
    billion.For the full year, OfficeMax expects total sales to be slightly
    higher than 2009′s $7.21 billion. Wall Street has forecast full-year
    sales of $7.31billion, with estimates ranging from $7.18billion to $7.45
    billion.The company closed seven stores during the quarter, ending the
    period with 1,003 retail stores, down from 1,020 a year ago.