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Office Depot Posts Narrower Loss

Office Depot reports a narrower fourth-quarter loss as sales top expectations.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

reported a significantly narrower loss than expected, as sales topped forecasts.

During the quarter, Office Depot lost $61.5 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.54 billion, or $5.64, for the office supply retailer in the year-ago period.

Excluding restructuring charges, Office Depot lost just 6 cents a share, easily topping Wall Street's forecast of a loss of 22 cents. Sales dropped 6% to $3.07 billion, while same-store sales fell 4%.

Rival

OfficeMax

TheStreet Recommends

(OMX)

also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings last week. Excluding items, OfficeMax lost 3 cents a share, less than the loss of 7 cents analysts predicted.

In the report, OfficeMax said it foresees sales growth in 2010, but still warned of challenges ahead. "The company expects to continue facing challenging economic conditions, such as U.S. unemployment trends, over the near-term, with these trends beginning to work in the company's favor toward the latter part of the year," CEO Sam Duncan said in a statement.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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