OfficeMax ( OMX) posted a lower first-quarter profit, despite an increase in total sales and domestic same-store sales, as last year's results included a big tax refund.

The company earned $9.8 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with $63.5 million, or 51 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Last year's results included a $57.5 million cash tax refund, OfficeMax said.

Assuming an approximate 40% tax rate, earnings were 5 cents a share, or $5.9 million, in the first quarter, compared with 3 cents a share, or $3.6 million, in the first quarter of 2002, excluding last year's cash tax refund. Analysts were also expecting the company to earn 5 cents a share on that basis.

Sales were $1.23 billion, compared with $1.18 billion a year ago. Domestic same-store sales rose 5%, the company said. OfficeMax said sales were hurt in mid-March by the start of the war in Iraq.

Looking to the second quarter, traditionally a weak time for the company, OfficeMax expects to lose 22 cents a share. Assuming a full-tax rate, the company expects to lose 13 cents a share. Analysts expect the company to lose 9 cents a share.

Shares of the company were recently down 0.89% to $5.55 on the news.

If you liked this article you might like

Hot Topic's Relief Bounce

Hot Topic's Relief Bounce

Limited Brands Profit Jumps

Limited Brands Profit Jumps

Glitch Lingers at Ross Stores

Glitch Lingers at Ross Stores

Dillard's Halves Loss

Dillard's Halves Loss

Do-It-Yourself Boost for Economy

Do-It-Yourself Boost for Economy