posted third-quarter earnings that beat estimates as sales and margins both continued to improve.
The office supplies retailer earned $133.3 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with a loss of $47.9 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier, when results were weighed down by impairment charges.
Excluding items in both quarters, earnings rose to $139 million, or 49 cents a share, from $111 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier.
The results for the latest quarter topped analysts' mean estimate of 44 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.
Sales rose to $3.86 billion from $3.49 billion a year earlier, topping Wall Street's projection of $3.73 billion. Same-store sales in North America rose 3%, led by technology products and the back-to-school season, Office Depot said.
"We are extremely pleased with the record sales and earnings Office Depot achieved in the third quarter," said Steve Odland, Office Depot's Chairman and CEO. "The strategic initiatives that we have implemented have led to significant sales growth in each of our divisions as well as lower operating expenses and expanded margins."
The company said the margin improvement in its North American stores was driven by category management and an increase in private brand sales.
Shares of Office Depot were up $1.09, or 2.6%, to $43.50 in premarket trading.