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Office Depot Shares Slide on Earnings Delay

Office Depot, the world's second-largest office supplies retailer, said Monday it would delay its third-quarter earnings release due to an independent review of its vendor program funds, sending its shares down as much as 17 percent.

Office Depot shares on Monday were down $2.79, or 14 percent, at $17.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company was scheduled to report quarterly results Oct. 30. It did not announce a new date for its earnings release.

Office Depot said the delay "is due to an independent review by the audit committee of the company's vendor program funds. The review relates principally to the timing of the recognition of certain vendor program funds."

In a research note, Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter said the delay was not a good development for shareholders.

"Past history with other companies point to this being a potential problem that may involve restatements, sometimes of a material nature," he wrote.

He lowered his price target on the stock to $17 from $24 and cut his rating to "underperform" from "neutral."

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