Staples, Inc. said today it achieved net income of U.S. $128 million, or $0.27 per share on a diluted basis, for its third quarter ended Nov. 2, 2002. This exceeds the analyst consensus of $0.24 and is a 35-percent increase over earnings per share of $0.20 reported for the third quarter of 2001.
Total company sales for the quarter grew to $3.1 billion, an increase of nine percent versus $2.8 billion reported for the same quarter of the prior year. Overall comparable sales were up three percent and retail only comparable sales increased more than one percent.
"Staples associates delivered the best third quarter in the company's history, with both sales and earnings ahead of expectations," said Ron Sargent, Staples president and CEO. "We have strong momentum from the first half of the year and a keen focus on customer service and operational excellence that is driving our record performance."
Based on outperforming in the third quarter, Staples expects to achieve full year earnings results $.03 higher than current analyst estimates. Staples expects to achieve earnings consistent with current analyst estimates in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Staples, Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses. It operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, and Portugal.
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