Staples disappoints with lackluster guidance

The office supply giant couldn't meet Wall Street expectations on revenue in its third quarter.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 15, 2011 11:13AM
Staples (SPLS) shares were getting hammered after the office supply giant's results failed to wow Wall Street yet again. The company increased a planned stock buyback, but that isn't fooling anyone.

The Framingham, Mass. company said net income for the third quarter increased 13% to $326 million, or 47 cents a share, up from $288.7 million, or 40 cents. Revenue rose to $6.57 billion, below the $6.71 billion Wall Street expected amid weakness in its international business.

Staples also gave lackluster guidance. The company forecast flat to low single-digit sales
growth in the current quarter on earnings of between 39 cents to 43 cents. That's below Wall Street expectations of earnings of 43 cents on revenue of $6.59 billion.

For the full year 2011, the company sees a sales increase in the low single-digits on earnings of $1.38 to $1.42 per share, down from an earlier forecast of $1.39 to $1.45 per share.

Shareholders, which have seen the stock price tumble nearly 40% this year, did get a break of sorts. The company will repurchase approximately $600 million of its stock, up from earlier guidance of $300 million to $500 million.

This results come less than six months after Staples shares had their biggest fall in 11 years after the company slashed its full-year profit outlook and adopted what it called “more conservative" earnings guidance.


Tags: SPLS
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