Office Depot Soars on Earnings Beat

Updated from 8:02 a.m. EST

Office Depot ( ODP) soared Wednesday after it posted a slightly better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter and boosted 2002 guidance.

The office-supply firm earned $58.1 million, or 19 cents per share, in the latest quarter before various items, a penny better than expectations. On the bottom line, the Delray Beach, Fla.-based company reported net income of $40.3 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a loss of $168.3 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Sales fell to $2.80 billion from $3.05 billion a year ago.

Office Depot boosted its 2002 earnings forecast to a range of 97 cents to $1.03 per share; analysts had been predicting 87 cents a shares.

On the NYSE, Office Depot's shares $2.30, or 14.2%, to $18.49.

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