FINANCE

Office Depot, SEC reach settlement

BY CSA STAFF

Delray Beach, Fla. Office Depot has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve an inquiry about its communications with financial analysts and several other issues, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

However, CEO Steve Odland and two former employees also are facing notice from the SEC in Miami that they may face civil-enforcement actions, the report said.

Under the proposed settlement reached with SEC staff members, Office Depot has agreed to pay a civil penalty and to consent to a cease-and-desist order from committing or causing violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that require the maintenance of accurate books and records and internal controls.

The proposed settlement is contingent on review and approval of final documentation by the company and the SEC staff, and is subject to approval by SEC commissioners.

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Walmart honors military families with $1.1M donation

BY CSA STAFF

FORT BRAGG, N.C. Walmart announced that, through a $1.1 million donation, it is helping more than 10,000 military children and families receive free toys, books, Walmart gift cards and gift packages. In addition, the company announced that it is honoring fallen veterans by helping to place wreaths on national cemeteries and memorial sites.

Walmart joined with Operation Homefront and Wreaths Across America in Fort Bragg, N.C., on Dec. 4 to launch the program, part of “Walmart Gives Back,” a holiday giving initiative focused on hunger relief and support for military families.

 

“Walmart has a history of supporting our troops. This holiday season, we recognize the sacrifices of our deployed servicemen and women – and their families back at home,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “We know that many military families have a tough time during the holidays. They miss their loved ones who are away, and we hope that our efforts will make their holiday easier and better.”

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Big Lots raises outlook after strong quarter

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots reported third-quarter fiscal 2009 income from continuing operations of $30.3 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, compared with income from continuing operations of $12.4 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 1.3% to $1.03 billion, compared with $1.02 billion for the same period in fiscal 2008. Comparable-store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year decreased 0.2% for the quarter.

Big Lots has increased its fourth-quarter guidance for income from continuing operations to $1.09 to $1.14 per diluted share, a 9% to 14% increase compared with income from continuing operations of $1.00 per diluted share for the same period last year. The company has also raided its fiscal 2009 annual guidance for income from continuing operations to $2.15 to $2.20 per diluted share, a 14% to 16% increase compared to income from continuing operations of $1.89 per diluted share last year.

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