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Acco Brands shares down on weak revenue

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (AP) -- Acco Brands Corp.'s shares fell in trading Wednesday after the office products maker reported that its fourth-quarter revenue came in below market expectations.

The company, which makes Swingline staplers, Day-Timer planners and other products, posted a loss of $12.5 million, or 11 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That is compared with net income of $9.4 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same quarter of the prior year.

After adjusting for restructuring costs, acquisition expenses and other items, it earned 37 cents per share from continuing operations.

Acco's total revenue increased to $529.7 million from $350.7 million, due largely to the addition of the MeadWestvaco business. The company paid $860 million last year to acquire MeadWestvaco's consumer and office products business, gaining products like Mead, Five Star, and Trapper Keeper.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 37 cents per share on revenue of $541.1 million for the quarter.

Acco has struggled with sluggish sales due to the economy but has gotten a boost from the acquisition. It also is focusing on improving its balance sheet so that it can better weather this difficult period.

The company said it paid down $200 million in debt during the quarter, $75 million more than we had originally planned.

Robert J. Keller, chairman and chief executive officer, said the fourth-quarter and full-year performance positioned the company for strong earnings improvement in 2013.

Acco announced in May that Keller will step down as CEO in March but remain as executive chairman. He will be succeeded as CEO by Boris Elisman, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer.

The Lincolnshire, Ill.-based company said it expects to earn between 95 cents to $1.05 per share for the 2013 fiscal year. Analysts had forecast earnings of $1 per share for the year.

Shares fell 37 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $8.03 in midday trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week trading range of $5.80 to $13.30.