Office Depot Earnings Gain on Merger Synergies

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Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP) reported third-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Tuesday. The office supplies retailer posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.10 and $4.07 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, Office Depot reported EPS of $0.05 on revenue of $2.62 billion. Last year’s results do not reflect the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax. On a pro forma basis, third-quarter 2013 revenues totaled $4.2 billion. This year’s third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.09 and $4.05 billion in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, Office Depot posted quarterly EPS of $0.05, compared with last year’s EPS of $0.41. The excluded items included one-time charges totaling $79 million comprised of $55 million in merger-related expenses, $17 million in international restructuring and $7 million in non-cash store impairment and other charges.

Compared with the pro forma results from last year’s third quarter, adjusted sales are down 4% while adjusted gross profit margin is up from 23.8% to 24.2%. The merger with OfficeMax was completed in November 2013.

Office Depot raised its full-year outlook for adjusted operating income from “not less than $200 million” to a new range of $255 million to $265 million. For fiscal year 2015, the company expects adjusted operating income of $475 million. The store also raised its estimate of total annual run-rate merger synergy benefits from “more than $700 million” to “more than $750” million by the end of 2016. The company did not provide EPS or revenue estimates, but the consensus calls for fourth-quarter EPS of $0.03 on revenues of $3.93 billion. For the full year, EPS is expected to total $0.17 on revenues of $16.1 billion.

The company’s CEO said:

Our third quarter results reflect excellence in execution against our critical priorities and merger integration objectives, and we are very pleased to have more than doubled our adjusted operating income from last year’s combined pro forma results. We continue to make significant progress on merger integration and have exceeded our synergy targets for the quarter.

Shares rose about 14.6% in premarket trading Tuesday to $5.81, in a 52-week range of $3.84 to $5.91. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $6.10 before the results were announced.

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