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Staples posts hefty loss on charges, but tops view

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 7:15 am •  Published: November 14, 2012

For the North American retail division, revenue was flat at $2.6 billion with revenue at stores open at least a year down 1 percent as traffic declined. Weaker computer and software sales were somewhat offset by stronger results from copy and print services and core office supplies.

Revenue for international operations dropped 12 percent to $1.1 billion, hurt by soft sales in Europe and Australia and a stronger dollar.

Staples Inc., which is based in Framingham, Mass., reaffirmed its full-year forecast for a low single-digit percentage rise in its full-year earnings when compared with 2011's adjusted earnings of $1.37 per share. Revenue is expected to be about the same as the prior year's $25.02 billion.

Analysts predict earnings of $1.36 per share on revenue of $24.75 billion.

The chain said that it anticipates more than $1 billion of free cash flow for the year and plans to continue making buybacks, which are expected to total about $450 million in 2012.

Its shares rose 56 cents, or 5 percent, to $11.81 in premarket trading. Its shares are up from a 52-week low of $10.57 in late August but are down from a high of $16.93 in mid-March.