Framingham, Mass. Staples reported Tuesday that earnings dropped 18% to $233.9 million for the quarter ended Jan. 30, compared with a profit of $286 million in the year-ago period. A $42 million charge related to the settlement of some retail wage and hour class action lawsuits and $20 million in other charges impacted the profit picture.
Sales at Staples climbed for the second straight quarter, however, as the office-supply retailer recorded fourth-quarter revenue growth of 4% to $6.41 billion, ahead of the $6.3 billion Wall Street anticipated.
Last quarter Staples reported a 1% rise in sales, its first retail sales increase in five quarters. Same-store sales rose 3%.
Looking ahead, Staples issued a 2010 adjusted profit outlook below analysts' views.