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OfficeMax profit misses

Naperville, Ill. -- OfficeMax on Tuesday reported a lower-than-expected profit, for its first profit, hurt by declining technology sales. Prior to its earnings release, the company also announced a special dividend of $1.50 per share.

OfficeMax's first-quarter profit available to shareholders rose to $56.3 million, from $4.9 million a year earlier. Sales fell 5.65% to $1.77 billion, while analysts expected $1.83 billion.

"We experienced a challenging first quarter, with a sales decline that reflected weak macroeconomic conditions and continued industry declines in technology sales," said Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax. "We will continue to drive gross margin improvement and have put in place a significant cost reduction plan that should improve results in the second half of the year."

  OfficeMax is waiting for regulatory approval for its pending merger with Office Depot.