U.S. Markets closed

Staples Inc. Earnings: Profit Increases Again

S&P 500 component Staples Inc. reported its results for the fourth quarter. Staples operates a chain of retail stores selling office products.

Investing Insights: Warren Buffett Trashes Gold, But What About Silver?

Staples Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the specialty retail company rose to $283.6 million (41 cents per share) vs. $274.7 million (38 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 3.2% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 0.7% to $6.46 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Staples Inc. fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of 41 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $6.45 billion.

Quoting Management: “During 2011 Staples celebrated its 25th anniversary with $25 billion in total company sales,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and chief executive officer. “We drove strong earnings growth, generated more than $1 billion of free cash flow for the fourth consecutive year, and have solid plans in place to build on our momentum in 2012.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 13.1% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 36%.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 0.5% to $6.57 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 5.2% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 1.9% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now fallen in line with estimates for the past two quarters. It reported net income of 47 cents in the third quarter.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next-quarter results are lower than they have been. Over the past sixty days, the average estimate for first quarter of the next fiscal year has fallen from 32 cents per share to 31 cents. At $1.37 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $1.38 ninety days ago.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

Don’t Miss These Additional Hot Stories:

Gold Nears $1,800 as Silver Crushes Every Asset Class YTD>>

Tablets: What’s Hot, What’s Not>>

Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Above 13,000, Ready for 15,000?>>

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com