OfficeMax Narrows Loss, Shares Soar

NAPERVILLE, ILL. ( TheStreet) -- OfficeMax ( OMX) may have narrowed its loss in the second-quarter, but the rest of the year, especially back-to-school, doesn't look so great.

Investors nonetheless seemed content to bask in the here-and-now, sending shares in OfficeMax soaring 14% to $8.21, after the company beat Wall Street's forecast.

The company recorded a loss of $17.7 million, or 23 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $895.3 million, or $11.79 a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding costs related to store closings, severance and a tax benefit, the company actually loss 4 cents a share, better than the 7-cent loss analysts' were predicting.

Revenue sank 17% to $1.66 billion from $1.98 billion last year.

In a note, J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers wrote that even though OfficeMax may have barely beat the consensus targets, its quarterly report nonetheless "builds confidence in both management's ability to guide the business through the bottom of the cycle and in an investors' ability to model the business and not see a big miss to the downside."

Still, the company itself said it remains "very cautious" about how it will perform in the second half of the year, expecting a soft back-to-school season.

On Tuesday, rival Office Depot ( ODP) reported a second-quarter loss of $82 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2 million, or 1 cent, in the year prior, as businesses cut back on purchasing office supplies.

-Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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