Staples

(SPLS)

shares edged higher early Tuesday after the office supply retailer posted a 24% jump in third-quarter earnings, thanks to "rapid market share gains."

The Massachusetts-based company had net income of $208.9, or 41 cents a share, vs. $165.8 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected 40 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Total sales for the quarter rose 12% to $3.8 billion. North American same-store sales increased 4%, driven by furniture, office supplies and back-to-school sales. European sales rose 24%.

Looking ahead, the company expects EPS of 50 cents a share in the fourth quarter, matching analysts' estimates. Staples expects a low single-digit increase in same-store sales.

In the second quarter, Staples beat analysts' expectations in posting net income of $122.5 million, or 24 cents a share, vs. $87.8 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 9% to $3.09 billion.

Shares rose 31 cents, or 1%, to $31.50 in premarket trading.