(By Balaseshan) Office Depot Inc. (NYSE:ODP), the second-largest U.S. office supply retailer, reported a wider quarterly loss due to lower sales and fixed asset impairment. Results missed Street's expectations.
Loss for the second quarter widened to $64.3 million or $0.23 per share from $29.3 million or $0.11 per share last year.
Excluding the charges and tax benefit associated with a U.S. Internal Revenue Service ruling, loss after preferred stock dividends for the latest quarter would have been about $40 million or $0.14 per share.
Sales declined 7% to $2.51 billion. Analysts had expected a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $2.61 billion.
Sales from North American Retail Division decreased 8% to $994 million, due to a negative impact of store closures throughout 2011 and the calendar shift impacts in 2012 as last year was a 53-week period. North American Retail Division's same store sales from the 1,094 stores that have been open for more than one year decreased 4%.
Sales from North American Business Solutions Division declined 1% to $796 million. Sales in the direct channel were essentially flat, while contract channel sales decreased 1%.
Sales from International Division was $717 million, a decrease of 13% in U.S. dollars and a decline of 6% in constant currency. The latest quarter included fewer working days compared to last year which contributed to the decline in sales in constant currency.
Gross margin, excluding charges, increased about 40 basis points to 29.8, with increases recognized in all three divisions.
The company ended the second quarter with a use of free cash flow of $66 million, a $19 million decrease in usage from the prior year period. ODP had $423 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand and availability at the end of second quarter under the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement of $729 million, for $1.2 billion in total available liquidity.
ODP closed Monday's regular session down 2.25% at $1.74. The stock has been trading between $1.61 and $3.81 for the past 52 weeks.