Staples Profit Up 12%, Sees Second-Quarter at Low End of Forecast

Staples said first-quarter earnings rose 12%, helped by growth at its international business.

However, the Framingham, Mass., office supplies retailer saw some weakness at its North American stores. Although the company reiterated its forecasts, it warned earnings per share in the second quarter might fall at the low-end of its estimates.

Net income climbed to $209 million, or 29 cents a share, from $186.1 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales rose 8.3% to $4.59 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $4.66 billion.

North American same-store sales rose 1%, helped by demand for laptop computers, peripherals and business software, and continued growth in revenue from copy and print services. However, demand was weak for office supplies and furniture and business machines.

Staples still sees second-quarter and full-year earnings growth of 15% to 20%, but said earnings per share will be at the low end of its forecasted range.

The company expects double-digit sales growth for the year and a low-single-digit comparable-store sales rise for North American retail.