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Big Beat at OfficeMax

The retailer swings to a fourth-quarter profit.

OfficeMax (OMX) swung to a fourth-quarter profit, beating Wall Street's estimates, as profit margins expanded.

The Naperville, Ill., office-supplies retailer made $54.4 million, or 71 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Dec. 30, reversing the year-ago loss of $22.6 million, or 33 cents a share. Sales fell to $2.26 billion from $2.46 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 40-cent profit on sales of $2.31 billion.

"The fourth quarter and full-year 2006 represented significant improvement for OfficeMax," said CEO Sam Duncan. "We delivered on our turnaround plan goals with solid operating income margin expansion in both our contract and retail segments."

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